Nicholls to play the way team needs

Henry Nicholls
Henry Nicholls
One half-century and suddenly you are Bruce Edgar.

Perhaps that is how Henry Nicholls is feeling at the moment.

He fronted the press pack yesterday before today's second one-day international against Bangladesh and got the chance to puff his chest out ... again.

The 27-year-old Cantabrian has had a terrific 12 months with the bat. The organised left-hander was named in the ICC test team of the year alongside fellow New Zealanders Kane Williamson and Tom Latham.

He has matured into wonderful No5 at test level. He has a reputation for scoring tough runs and those ''fix it''qualities have led to other opportunities.

With Colin Munro's form at the top of the one-day order a cause for some angst, Nicholls, who usually bats at No6 in the Black Caps one-day squad, was leaned on to open to see what he is capable of ahead of the World Cup.

He combined with Martin Guptill in a 103-run stand for the first wicket in the opening match of the series.

It was the first time since 2017 the Black Caps had reached 100 without losing a wicket in the format. Guptill carried his bat with an undefeated 117 and Nicholls was eventually undone for 53.

The pair provided a solid platform for the home team to go on and win by eight wickets.

Nicholls felt the bowlers deserved plenty of credit. To dismiss Bangladesh for 232 meant the Black Caps were left chasing a modest target.

''That allowed us to build that partnership and take a bit of time - knowing the importance of keeping those wickets in hand early,'' Nicholls said.

''So like I say it was a combination of the way the bowlers bowled but also the way me and Martin assessed it in terms of the importance the first 10 overs were going to play.''

Munro has been overlooked for the first two games but he will replace Kane Williamson in the squad for game three. He will probably open and it will be his last opportunity to prove he is of value before the World Cup squad is announced.

In all likelihood, both Nicholls and Munro will both make the squad. Actually, you can ink them in.

Munro is a more explosive batting option but Nicholls is definitely the safer bet, and he has been asked to play his natural game today.

That will be to keep it simple, build a partnership and play each ball on its merit.

''The hard work you do in that first 10 [overs] is really important. It is something I really enjoy. Batting at No6 for a while helped my skill set in terms of being adaptable and reading the situation.

''It is the same with opening. I'm not going out there to play a certain way or trying to do a certain thing, I'm just trying to read the situation and do what the team needs.''

Munro is better when not letting his mind wander from just trying to belt the ball. They are two very different players.

Comments

Surely you can find a better benchmark than the very average Bruce Edgar. Nicholls is twice the player Edgar ever was.

 

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