Pakistan in New Zealand 2009-10 December 7, 2009

Watling called to boost struggling New Zealand

Cricinfo staff
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The in-form BJ Watling is in line for his Test debut after replacing Peter Fulton for the series-deciding third Test against Pakistan in Napier from Friday. New Zealand's selectors avoided wholesale changes after they were dismissed for 99 and 263 in the loss in Wellington on Sunday, with Watling the only new face in the 13-man outfit.

"I had a fair idea I was in the mix but you are always shocked and excited when you get the call-up," said Watling, who played two Twenty20 internationals in the UAE last month. He has performed well in the State Shield and scored 90 and 136 in the most recent rounds of the Plunket Shield. The selector Mark Greatbatch said Watling showed outstanding potential as a developing batsman.

"He's a quality young player with good technique," Greatbatch said. "With the series at one-all we need to regroup and we believe Watling can add strength at the top.

"There was a lot of discussion about the batting line-up, but this was not a time for wholesale change. We are aiming to give guys the opportunity to succeed."

Fulton managed 42 runs in the opening two games, which was only marginally worse than the return of Grant Elliott and slightly better than Tim McIntosh. Ross Taylor has been the key local batsman in the series, scoring 280 runs, including 97 in the second innings in Wellington.

Greatbatch added that New Zealand might make some changes to their batting order, pushing Flynn - who batted at No.3 in Wellington - down the order, and Martin Guptill to No.3 from his opening slot.

New Zealand squad Tim McIntosh, Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Grant Elliott, Brendon McCullum (wk), Daniel Vettori (capt), Daryl Tuffey, Iain O'Brien, Chris Martin, Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee.