Tim Seifert, the wicket-keeper batsman, who was overlooked for New Zealand’s 15-member squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, has admitted that he is gutted to miss out, but vowed to improve his performances to fight back into the team.

Seifert made his one-day international debut earlier this year, and impressed in the Twenty20 Internationals against India, making two 40-plus scores. He seemed set to be back-up ‘keeper to Tom Latham in the ODI side, but was left disappointed when Tom Blundell pipped him to the spot in the squad announced on Wednesday, 3 April.

“At the end of the day, I didn’t make the World Cup, so you’re always going to be gutted,” he told Stuff.

Seifert injured his finger last month, in a domestic game, but was expected to be available for the World Cup. However, Gary Stead, the coach indicated that even if Seifert had been fully fit, Blundell would have won out because of his superior glovework.

“We believe that his ‘keeping ability is superior, and tie that in with his ability with the bat, we think it’s a nice fit if Tom Latham is injured,” Stead had said of Blundell during the squad announcement.

While Seifert had nothing against “one of my best mates”, he insisted he felt the two were close in terms of ability. “Getting the nod for those Sri Lankan [ODI] games, in the back of the mind, I thought I had a little step ahead of him,” he said.

“Everyone has got something to work on. Even [captain] Kane [Williamson] is still working on his batting. It’s not like a shipwreck. I personally don’t think I’m far away from Blundell with my ‘keeping work.”

New Zealand are set to choose a list of stand-by players, and Seifert is determined not only to be on that list but also to work his way firmly back into the reckoning. “I’ve definitely used this selection as fire in the belly,” he said, “and will work hard so I can be up to that level.”

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