Melbourne: Wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell will open in the second Test against Australia on Boxing Day in Melbourne as New Zealand confirmed on Sunday.
With this decision, opener Jeet Raval is set to be dropped from the second Test of the three-match series.
Blundell opened for New Zealand in their single day practice match against Victoria XI at Scotch College in Melbourne on Sunday and made 59. The two-day game had been reduced to a single day fixture due to extreme heat in Melbourne on Friday, ESPNcricinfo reported.
The 29-year-old has played two Tests and scored 136 runs with an unbeaten century on debut as wicketkeeper.
"I think it's just a mindset shift. I will probably try and still bat the same but it's just the first 30 balls, you have to be a little bit patient outside that off stump. If I can last those 30 balls hopefully I can bat a little bit more positively," Blundell said.
"I feel like I can do a good job wherever and this game I've been given the opportunity to open and I'm really looking forward to Boxing day," he added.
On the other hand, Raval just added two runs in the first Test against Australia in Perth which Kiwis lost by 296 runs. He failed to reach double figures in seven of his last nine Test innings.