Past Performances Gave us Confidence to Win in Subcontinent: BJ Watling

Written by Vipin Darwade

New Zealand fought Sri Lanka and rain to level the two-match with an innings win at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo on Monday (August 26). One of the architects of the innings and 65-run win was wicketkeeper batsman BJ Watling, who notched up his seventh Test century.

Watling knows how tough it is for New Zealand teams to win a subcontinent Test, but said there was a quiet confidence. They’ve now won three in nine months, after the series-clinchers against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last year.

“It comes from past performances. We’ve managed to do it and that instills some belief in the guys knowing that in these conditions you can go bang bang (quick wickets) and get yourself back in the game quickly,” Watling was quoted as saying by

“The heat definitely takes it out of you. It is pretty humid out there, there’s a lot of sweating going on and a lot of hard work. The dirties (non-players) are running around like madmen trying to get us gloves and water and Powerade just to keep us going.

“That’s always the challenge in these conditions but the boys are starting to learn to deal with it,” the Kiwi wicketkeeper added.

Watling, already New Zealand’s record-holder for Test dismissals, went past Brendon McCullum’s tally of 2803 runs and five centuries with the gloves.

Tim Southee snared six wickets in the Test, including his 250th in all to become the most successful New Zealand bowler against Sri Lanka.

“It’s always good fun. They’ve got good banter and they keep you honest and they’re bowling fantastically. In these conditions it’s very trying and they’ve found out ways to take wickets and to put other teams under pressure,” said Watling about the new ball pair.


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Vipin Darwade