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New Zealand contemplating Henry Nicholls as opener for the World Cup

"It was nice and something I enjoy doing."

Henry Nicholls
Henry Nicholls (left) and Doug Bracewell of New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

After defeating Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI and T20I series, New Zealand haven’t been able to show the same form in the ongoing five-match series against the Indian team. The Black Caps, led by Kane Williamson, lost the first three encounters to hand an unassailable 3-0 lead to their opponents. The Kiwis’ batting was a major point of concern in all the games.

Colin Munro has had a rough time and he could only manage scores of 8,31 and seven at a strike-rate of 77.96. Subsequently, the left-hander was dropped and Henry Nicholls, who mostly bats in the middle-order, was sent in to open with Martin Guptill in the fourth match at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. He didn’t disappoint and ended up scoring 30 unbeaten runs from 42 deliveries.

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I think it’s likely that Henry will get another go

Now the team management is also contemplating him as an opener in the World Cup. “Part of our campaign plan for this Indian series was to look at options at the top of the order, and Henry Nicholls has been a bit of a fix-it man across a number of areas. Gary Stead, the New Zealand head coach, mentioned that he wasn’t surprised by Nicholls’ good show at the top of the order.

” know from my time when I was coaching Henry at Canterbury that he had opened before. So it wasn’t a real surprise to me that he could do this. In terms of the future and where we go, who knows at this stage. Colin Munro is certainly in our plans; I think it’s likely that Henry will get another go in the short-term though,” Stead was quoted as saying in Radio Breakfast.

It’s not something I’ve put my target on

In the meantime, Nicholls feels that opening the batting requires mental adjustment. But he doesn’t want to set it as a target and rather wants to contribute in every way possible. “It’s something Steady has talked to me a little bit about as being an option throughout the summer. Then a couple of days out he let me know that was going to happen. It wasn’t too much of a change.

I’ve done it for Canterbury quite a bit and it’s just about making a mental adjustment that you can have a bit more time to bat than usual. It was nice and something I enjoy doing. It’s not something I’ve put my target on. In terms of a role in the team, if that’s what’s needed, like batting at six was for the last couple of years, whatever that role is I’m happy to fill it,” he mentioned.

New Zealand are yet to win the World Cup. Last time around in 2015, they progressed to the final against Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), but couldn’t win the match.

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