Henry Nicholls

NZ vs PAK: WTC good for the game, reckons Nicholls

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With the battle for the top two spots in the World Test Championship intensifying, Henry Nicholls, the Kiwi batsman reckons that the championship is all-round good for the game. New Zealand will face Pakistan for a two match Test series and Nicholls claims that there is more at stake than just a series win.

“It’s a bit cool to have some context around it,” said Nicholls. “As a playing group we’ve always said that Tests had so much importance but now I guess in terms of a following and a context point of view it’s nice to know what’s in front of us. All round, it’s good for the game,” he added.

New Zealand will head into the Test series against Pakistan on the back of a comprehensive series victory over West Indies. In the second Test, Nicholls registered his highest Test score till date. “I just try and play as I always play. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t. It was obviously nice to be a part of that Test series win. Different opponent, different ground… starting on Boxing Day is another challenge. We have a couple of days to get ready for it,” said Nicholls of his performance against West Indies.

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Nicholls scored a knock of 174 runs in the first innings, battling through the tough times and guiding the Kiwis to a score of 460 runs after they were put into bat.

“The role of the batting group..everyone wants to contribute and step up and we knew with Kane not being there obviously his run-scoring in the past has been huge, so it was nice individually and also putting up partnerships through the batting line-up, four-five 50-plus partnerships, all the way till Neil Wagner who was batting at No.10 so it was pretty pleasing from that point of view.”

Sodhi and Guptill struck injuries

Ish Sodhi, the New Zealand spinner, suffered a strain on his left-hamstring in the third T20I against Pakistan, while he was fielding. “Sodhi has returned to Christchurch today and will have scans to ascertain the extent of the strain and the recovery plan, although he’s expected to be out for at least two weeks,” New Zealand Cricket stated in a release.

Martin Guptill suffered a laceration to the pad of his right index finger while trying to stop a ball in the field. Guptill had his wound cleaned and closed and his rehabilitation will be determined following the results of an x-ray on the injury.