Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fulton out, Watling in for Black Caps

New Zealand have dropped Peter Fulton for the decisive third Test against Pakistan, starting in Napier on Friday.

Fulton managed just 13 runs in the comprehensive 141-run loss to Pakistan in Wellington and has paid for under-achieving with his place, which goes to Bradley-John Watling.

Captain Daniel Vettori admitted "a couple of guys are under severe scrutiny" after Pakistan squared the series with yesterday's win - but Fulton is the only change to the side.

Northern Districts batsman Watling - known as BJ - earns his first call-up to the Test squad after playing in the two Twenty20 Internationals against Pakistan last month in the United Arab Emirates.

His selection comes after strong performances in the 2008-09 State Shield, while he excelled in the most recent rounds of the Plunket shield with scores of 90 and 136.

The 24-year-old also toured this year with the New Zealand Emerging Players in Australia, and New Zealand A in India.

National selector Mark Greatbatch said Watling showed outstanding potential as a developing batsman.

He explained: "He's a quality young player with good technique.
"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."

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