New Zealand in West Indies 2012 June 26, 2012

Watling expects 'spin barrage' in Caribbean

ESPNcricinfo staff

BJ Watling, the New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman, has said that he is prepared to face a "barrage of spin" on their Caribbean tour. New Zealand left for their tour, which begins with two Twenty20s against West Indies in Florida, on Sunday.

Watling, 26, said that he expected the Caribbean pitches to be similar to the ones that Australia played on during their series in April. "I'm preparing for a barrage of spin," Watling told the Waikato Times. "From what we saw when Australia toured there, and what we've been hearing, they [the pitches] weren't the greatest. They were low and slow, and with a lot of turn.

"(West Indies) can perform on the day and have the potential to be very good. We'll be well-prepared because we're going to have to be right on our game. The two teams aren't renowned for their consistency, so we'll be looking to be the more consistent - we want to come out on top in key situations."

Watling, who made his Test debut in 2009, scored his first Test century against Zimbabwe in January this year. However, he missed the South Africa series due to a hip injury. He said that he was fit and looked to make up for lost time. "It was good for me to get out there and catch some balls, get my workloads up and just good to get outside. The injury felt really good - I tested it out a lot last week and it held up well. I've been doing my rehab and it's got better and better. I will definitely get a decent workout, but I'm confident I'll get through it."

In Brendon McCullum's absence, Watling is expected to take the gloves in both the ODIs and T20s on the tour, but in the Tests he would compete with Kruger van Wyk. "I was obviously quite surprised to make the Twenty20 leg - I don't think my domestic performances have been that great, but now I have the opportunity to prove myself."

Edited by Carlyle Laurie

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