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BJ Watling to miss three weeks of action due to injury

Mitchell Santner and BJ Watling. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand were struck a blow as their first choice wicketkeeper is ruled out for more than a month. BJ Watling who has featured for the Black Caps in 49 Tests will be out for the whole of February. Watling was carrying a sprained knee for a fair bit of time. As he was not selected for the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia, he decided to rest his right knee.

The 31-year-old wicketkeeper has 157 dismissals to his name and averages just above 38 in Test matches. However, his limited-over career is yet to bloom. He has scored only 573 runs in twenty-five innings at an average which is just under 25. In the last two ODI series’ against India and Australia he has just managed to score 45 runs; 14 against India and 31 runs in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

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Watling set a new record against the Bangladeshis. He and Tim Southee both managed to break the record for highest partnership by a wicketkeeper-bowler pair. They have a total of 46 dismissals now as the previous record held by the great Richard Hadlee and Ian smith which was of 44 dismissals.

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He seemed to be happy about the break and while talking to ESPNcricinfo said, “I quite like that stat, it is quite a cool one. I am quite good mates with Tim. It is just a pretty friendly sort of a stat. It is good to achieve with a good friend in the team.”

Watling will look to increase the tally in the upcoming Test series against South Africa which starts in the first week of March. He will be looking to get some action before that and plans to feature for his domestic side Northern Districts when they play Otago in the Plunket Shield. The match between the two sides is to be played in Whangarei.

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