Opening batsman Watling gets Kiwi callup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Uncapped opening batsman Bradley-John Watling was the only newcomer selected in the New Zealand cricket squad on Friday.

Updated: October 16, 2009 16:28 IST
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Wellington, New Zealand:

Uncapped opening batsman Bradley-John Watling was the only newcomer selected in the New Zealand cricket squad on Friday for a series of limited-overs internationals against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month.

South African-born Watling, 24, plays for the Northern Districts province of New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori and averaged 63.62 with a top score of 113 not out in last season's domestic limited-overs championship. Vettori, who has opened the batting for Northern with Watling, had a hand in his promotion to the national side as a new member of the New Zealand selection panel.

Batsman Jesse Ryder, bowlers Daryl Tuffey and Brendon Diamanti and allrounder Grant Elliott were not considered for selection because of injuries sustained during the recent Champions Trophy in South Africa. Vettori and Jacob Oram, who were also injured during that tournament, face fitness tests before being confirmed in the squad.

Allrounder Scott Styris, fast bowler Tim Southee and spinner Nathan McCullum have been recalled while opening batsman Aaron Redmond, who was called to South Africa as a late replacement for Ryder, has held his place.

"This tour is a good opportunity for Watling to get a taste of top level cricket," Vettori said. "As selectors we believe he's got strong potential as a top order batsman.

"Aaron (Redmond) made a strong case for his inclusion with confident performances at the world Twenty20 and Champions Trophy.

"Nathan and Tim will give us flexibility and options which will suit the short, sharp nature of this tour but Jeetan Patel and Iain O'Brien are continuing to push hard for places in the squad."

Vettori said the New Zealand squad was strong and capable of building on its appearance in the final of the Champions Trophy, where it lost to defending champion Australia.

"Coming off a great performance in the Champions Trophy there's a confidence in the squad that we can do well in this series on neutral ground," he said. "It's disappointing that we will be without some key players but our campaign in South Africa showed there's depth in the squad, with a number of players available to step up and perform."

New Zealand and Pakistan will meet in three one-day internationals at Abu Dhabi on November 3, 6 and 9 and in two Twenty20 matches at Dubai on November 12 and 13.

The matches were originally scheduled to be played in Pakistan but were moved to a neutral venue because of security concerns.

Squad: Daniel Vettori (captain), Shane Bond, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Aaron Redmond, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor and Bradley-John Watling.

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