Watling an able lieutenant to captain MCullum

16:00, Feb 17 2014
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ishant Sharma bowls during day one of the second international test cricket match against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's players celebrate around New Zealand's Kane Williamson (C) during day one of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ishant Sharma falls over playing a shot during the first innings on day two of the second international test cricket match against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ajinkya Rahane (L) and New Zealand's Trent Boult (C) watch Ravindra Jadeja's (R) shot during the first innings on day two of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ajinkya Rahane signals his century against New Zealand during the first innings on day two of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
New Zealand's BJ Watling makes his ground during the second innings on day three of the second international test cricket match against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Zaheer Khan (L) bowls to New Zealand's Brendon McCullum (unseen) during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum plays a shot against India during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Zaheer Khan of India (L) celebrates his wicket of Hamish Rutherford of New Zealand (R) during day three of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Ravindra Jadeja of India appeals during day three of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Brendon McCullum of New Zealand ducks under a bouncer during day four of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
BJ Watling of New Zealand remains watchful during his innings on day four of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
BJ Watling of New Zealand celebrates his century during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket against India.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Brendon McCullum of New Zealand acknowledges the crowd in celebration of his double century.
Brendon McCullum gallery
Brendon McCullum acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the field at the end of play on day four.
Black Caps v India second test
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum acknowledges his 200 against India during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
New Zealand's BJ Watling (R) and India's Shikhar Dhawan (L) and MS Dhoni watch the ball during the second innings on day four of their second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum plays a shot against India during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
BJ Watling celebrates his century on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve. Wellington.
Black Caps v India second test
BJ Watling ducks a bouncer on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
Brendon McCullum ducks a bouncer on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
BJ Watling on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve. Wellington.
Black Caps v India second test
Brendon McCullum's father watches the match on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
Brendon McCullum at the end of the days play as Shikhar Dhawan congratulates him on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
McCullum the man
McCullum becomes the first New Zealander to score a Test Match triple century.

When BJ Watling walked onto the Basin Reserve at 94-5, just after lunch on Sunday, pure survival and nudging the second test into a fourth day were his only thoughts.

He'd been removed for a four-ball duck on day one by a snorter from Indian paceman Ishant Sharma and the home side were on the rack after trailing by 246 on the first innings.

Last night New Zealand's wicketkeeper, not prone to outlandish statements or flashy displays of emotion, sat behind a table under the RA Vance stand with a hint of a satisfied grin.

Playing just his 21st test, Watling became part of history as his third test century helped his captain Brendon McCullum add a world record 352 for the sixth wicket and put New Zealand close to an unbeatable, and potentially winning, position from nowhere.

"It was just a grind. We just took each ball at a time, each over at a time, each hour at a time," Watling said of their stand which spanned 12 minutes short of nine hours, and 123 overs.

"They came at us hard and we weathered the storm and then got a few runs away and just kept trying to take them as deep as we could."

The pair resumed yesterday on 252-5, leading by six runs. Watling never offered a chance in his 124 off 367 balls and after he and McCullum negotiated the first hour, they felt they could go big.

"We had a couple of little chats. But we talked about staying in the moment really and taking the next over. MS [Dhoni] came on to bowl there at the end, that's niggly to say the least, but it was just about seeing each over off and trying to get to that new ball and keep building that lead."

It said much for Watling's determination and single-mindedness that he swished his bat angrily then thumped it into the turf after being dismissed lbw by Mohammed Shami from the second delivery with the third new ball.

Needless to say, the whole team will be anxiously watching from the players' balcony when McCullum resumes today on 281 not out and in sight of becoming the first New Zealander to reach 300 in a test.

"Everyone is excited and watching every ball and trying to get as many runs as we can, and hopefully Baz does it [today]."

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BJ Watling
HARD GRIND: BJ Watling celebrates his century.

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