The Black Caps will have a new test wicketkeeper next week.

BJ Watling will not take the gloves in the first test against the West Indies in Wellington, but may play as a specialist batsman. The 32-year-old has kept in 44 of his 52 tests, but is struggling with a hip injury.

He opened for Northern Districts yesterday in their Plunket Shield match against Otago in Alexandra, making 56. Watling also scored 5 and 25 at the top of the order against Auckland at Hamilton. He kept in the previous match against Central Districts at Mount Maunganui and made 77 batting at No.5 and 30 at No.7.

Watling has been New Zealand's wicketkeeper in the last 21 tests. His most recent appearance as a specialist batsman was in the May 2015 victory over England at Headingley, when he became the first of his countrymen to score a test century at the venue.


Tom Blundell looms as his replacement.

He will play as the wicketkeeper for New Zealand A in the three-day match against the West Indies, starting Saturday at Lincoln.

If selected he would become the country's 273rd test cricketer and debut at his home ground, the Basin Reserve.

The 27-year-old has played one Twenty20 match for the Black Caps. He kept but did not bat in the third match victory over Bangladesh in Mount Maunganui.

In the wake of Luke Ronchi's retirement, Blundell has been a dominant performer in Wellington's undefeated Plunket Shield side across four matches this season.

He leads the dismissal table with 24 - 23 catches and one stumping – including 10 snares in the five-wicket victory over Canterbury at the Basin Reserve this month.

Blundell averages 60.66 with the bat, having made 182 runs from six innings with three not outs. His top score was an unbeaten 43 in the fixture against Canterbury.