Watling shocked by call-up
BJ Watling is still coming to terms with his inclusion in the New Zealand squad to face Pakistan.
Last Updated: 16/10/09 9:41am
BJ Watling admits his selection in New Zealand's limited-overs squad came as a surprise.
The Durban-born opener was the only new face in the Black Caps' 15-man party for three one-day internationals and two Twenty20s against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
"It was quite a surprise. I can't wait. I'm still a little shaky," he told the New Zealand Herald.
Strong domestic one-day form - where he scored 509 runs in 11 one-day games for Northern Districts - plus plenty of runs for the New Zealand Emerging Players and New Zealand A during the southern hemisphere winter trips has paid off for the 24-year-old.
He will also provide wicketkeeping back-up for Brendon McCullum during the matches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
"My form is there, but I thought maybe not just yet," Watling added.
"But I got a call about a week ago to prepare, so I thought I had a good chance."
New Zealand captain and selector Daniel Vettori said the tour would provide a chance for Watling to get a taste of international cricket.
But it is expected that Aaron Redmond, who was brought in for the Champions Trophy when Jesse Ryder (abdominal tear and adductor strain) was injured, will retain his opening spot alongside McCullum.
Others to benefit from the injury-enforced absence of Daryl Tuffey (broken hand) and Grant Elliott (broken thumb) are Tim Southee and Scott Styris.
Styris was called to South Africa as cover when Elliott was injured but did not play, while Southee last featured in limited-overs internationals against Australia and India earlier this year.
But spinner Jeetan Patel, who was in the Champions Trophy squad, has lost out to Nathan McCullum as the second spinner because of McCullum's superior batting skills.
New Zealand leave for Dubai on October 27. The first of three one-day internationals is on November 3 in Abu Dhabi.
The series closes with two Twenty20 internationals on November 12 and 13 in Dubai, before both teams travel to New Zealand for a three-Test series.
The series was originally due to take place in Pakistan earlier this year but was postponed and switched to the UAE following the terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore last March.