Watling not fit to keep against Windies


New Zealand will have to find a new wicketkeeper for the first Test against the West Indies, starting on 1 December in Wellington, after it was confirmed that BJ Watling will not recover sufficiently from a hip injury.

The 32-year-old Watling has played the last four domestic first-class games as a batsman only and was hoping his hip injury will have recovered for the first of two Tests against the Windies.

Watling will stay in the New Zealand squad and will be considered as a batsman only with uncapped Wellington gloveman Tom Blundell the favourite to be behind the stumps in the first Test, although no decision has been yet.

If Watling does not play it will be the first time he will miss a Test since 2013 in England.

The 27-year-old Blundell will get a chance to impress the national selectors when he plays a three-day tour game against the Windies for New Zealand A from Saturday.

New Zealand Test squad:  Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling