New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has named the toughest bowling pair he has faced in his career so far. The 35-year old is the most experienced Test wicketkeeper in the world right now and is arguably the best in the business. He has been playing Test cricket for New Zealand since 2009 and has done a stellar job so far.
BJ Watling has been a prolific run-scorer in Test cricket in recent years. He has scored more runs as designated wicketkeeper than anyone else this decade. Having played 70 Tests so far, he has kept the wickets in 62 of them, scoring 3,266 runs at an average of more than 40 with the help of 7 tons and 17 fifties.
Earlier this year, he was named in ICC Test Team of the Year after an impressive 2019 with the bat. He finished the year with 559 runs from 8 Tests at an average of more than 55. He also scored a stunning double century against England at home, helping his side win the series.
Toughest bowling duo:
In his decade-long career so far, BJ Watling has faced almost all the big names in the game in the last one decade. But the bowling duo he rates as the toughest are India’s Ravichandran Ashwin – Ravindra Jadeja and former South African Test bowlers Dale Steyn – Morne Morkel. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, BJ Watling said that facing Ashwin and Jadeja is extremely hard in Indian conditions. He then went on to say that facing Steyn and Morkel in South African conditions is even more tougher.
“When it’s turning in India it’s obviously very tough to play any spinner, really,” BJ Watling said. “The likes of [Ravichandran] Ashwin and [Ravindra] Jadeja, if conditions are in their favour, it is extremely hard work to score runs in itself, and to not get out.
“But facing guys like Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel in South Africa, that’s a pretty tough challenge. I think they have some of the quicker wickets in the world and obviously it cracks up late in the games. And those types of test matches can be very daunting, with those types of bowlers coming at you,” he added.