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    McCullum believes in Watling's keeping

    Opening bat Brendon McCullum has backed BJ Watling as New Zealand

    Opening bat Brendon McCullum has backed BJ Watling as New Zealand's wicketkkeeper. (Getty Images)

    Napier: New Zealand opening bat Brendon McCullum has backed BJ Watling as the side's wicketkkeeper ahead of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe at Napier on Thursday.

    McCullum who kept for New Zealand for 51 Tests before deciding to play as a specialist batsman felt that Watling has the perfect chance to cement his place as the permanent keeper of the side.

    "I know he's got the skills to do it and I guess everyone will be taking a punt on the fact that he can handle the workload as well. He's certainly got some natural ability. It's just about him getting back to keeping for long periods. I'm sure he'll do well. It's not a bad deck to start on as well,'' McCullum said.

    Kruger van Wyk who scored 84 in the practice game against Zimbabwe is the team's second wicketkeeping option after the Kiwis had earlier decided to do away with Reece Young.