Napier: Brendon McCullum has said BJ Watling has got "natural ability" as a wicketkeeper, and has backed him to succeed in New Zealand's one-off Test against Zimbabwe in Napier.
McCullum kept wickets for New Zealand in 51 Tests but in 2010 he decided he wanted to play as a specialist batsman. Since then Gareth Hopkins and Reece Young have played in the role, but New Zealand are now looking for a new Test wicketkeeper. Watling, who played six Tests as a batsman, will have an opportunity to prove he can fill the position long term.
McCullum said the fact that Watling had only played two first-class games as a keeper was a concern but not a major one. "The only thing you worry about is if he [Watling] has got the volume under his belt. But none of that matters; if he gets a go we've got to get right behind him.