Watling a doubtful starter for first Test against Windies

Video File B J Watling

Video File B J Watling

New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling is in doubt for the first Test against West Indies as he battles to recover from a hip injury but has been named in a 12-man squad for the Wellington match starting on December 1. He has been in involved in three of the six 200-run partnerships for the sixth wicket for New Zealand.

Watling will only participate as a batsman in the next domestic game against Auckland starting on Wednesday (November 15). It is going to be a tough test for Watling in the next round of Plunket Shield starting next week against Otago. "He'll need to keep, most importantly for his own peace of mind and confidence", Larsen said.

The 27-year-old Tom Blundell, who made his T20I debut against Bangladesh earlier this year, will probably make his Test debut in his home ground.

Larsen said that they will be having "a really good look" at Blundell when he dons the keeping gloves for Wellington against Cantebury this week and then again in the three-day warm-up against Windies that starts on November 25. Tom Latham will also be in the reckoning.

New Zealand have stuck to the team that fared well against South Africa even in a 1-0 series loss.

New Zealand have gone with a pace quartet of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Matt Henry and just a solitary spinner in Mitchell Santner.

There is a player set to be added to the 12-man squad after the warm-up game at Lincoln. Colin de Grandhomme has been retained as a seam bowling allrounder, with Matt Henry the backup paceman behind Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner in the Kane Williamson-captained side.

New Zealand A squad: Martin Guptill (c), Jeet Raval, George Worker, Neil Broom, Colin Munro, Tom Bruce, Tom Blundell (wk), Todd Astle, Scott Kuggeleijn, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson.