Henry Nicholls Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Henry Nicholls

India's Ishant Sharma prepares to ball during the third day of the second Test cricket match of a two-match series between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata on November 24, 2019. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE
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Ishant Sharma Suffers Injury During WTC Final

Ishant Sharma injured his right hand during the recently concluded ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand that required multiple stitches.

However, the nature of the injury has been deemed non-serious and Ishant Sharma is expected to recover in time for the England Test series in August.

Ishant Sharma suffered an injury to his bowling hand during the WTC final.© AFP
Ishant Sharma suffered an injury to his bowling hand during the WTC final.© AFP

Ishant Sharma Had Multiple Stitches On His Middle And 4th Finger In His Right Hand But It’s Not Very Serious

Ishant Sharma sent down 12 overs and claimed the wicket of Devon Conway (54) towards the end of the 3rd day’s play. He also picked Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson’s wicket on the 5th day after the 4th day was washed out.

“Ishant has had multiple stitches on his middle and fourth finger in his right hand. However, it is not very serious,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

Ishant Sharma celebrates after dismissing Devon Conway [Image-Twitter]
Ishant Sharma celebrates after dismissing Devon Conway [Image-Twitter]

“The stitches will be off in around 10 days and with six weeks left for the first Test against England, he is expected to recover in time.”

Ishant Sharma bowled 31.2 overs during the rain-hit contest and took three wickets-all of which came in New Zealand’s 1st innings.

India Lost The WTC Final And Traveled To London

India lost the WTC final to New Zealand by eight wickets on Tuesday and has reportedly traveled to London from its base in Southampton before dispersing for three weeks.

“The squad traveled together to London. From here they can all leave for their respective destinations within the UK for a 20-day break,” the official revealed.

Indian test team
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

The England series will start in the first week of August leaving India players with over a month’s free time. They plan to spend the break meeting acquaintances in London and possibly even attending Wimbledon and Euro 2020 matches.

“Some of them are tennis fans and if Wimbledon allows spectators, you might see them going for some of the show court matches. A few might be checking out if tickets for the Euro games at Wembley are available,” PTI quoted the source said.

The players are expected to assemble in London on July 14 and then travel to Nottingham where the first Test is scheduled to be played. India is slated to play five Tests against England with the first match starting from August 4 at Trent Bridge.

Tom Latham is an underrated weapon for the Black Caps. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 29: Tom Latham of New Zealand bats during day 1 of the second Test match between New Zealand and England at Seddon Park on November 29, 2019 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
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Tom Latham Leads New Zealand To First Series Win In The UK Since 1999

Tom Latham led the New Zealand team to a memorable 1-0 Test series triumph in the two-match series against hosts England, in the absence of injured Kane Williamson, which is their first in the UK since 1999.

Tom Latham, New Zealand vice-captain on Sunday said of their challengers for the World Test Championship crown, describing the Virat-Kohli unit as a “completely different side” from vanquished England.

New Zealand's Tom Latham, left, holds the winners' trophy as he stands with teammate Kane Williamson after their win in the second cricket test match against England at Edgbaston. (Photo | AP)
New Zealand’s Tom Latham holds the winners’ trophy.  (Photo | AP)

Tom Latham: India Has Got A Fantastic Set Of Bowlers And Quality Batsmen

Kane Williamson (elbow), BJ Watling (back), and Mitchel Santner (finger) were ruled out before the toss in the 2nd Test through injury and were replaced by Will Young, Tom Blundell, and Ajaz Patel. Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared the new ball in place of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, while Daryl Mitchell replaced Colin de Grandhomme at number seven as New Zealand made as many as 6 changes from the 1st Test.

Asked where does he see the biggest danger from India coming, Latham said, “All around the board.”

“They’ve got a fantastic set of bowlers, a lot of quality batsmen that have scored runs in different conditions all round the world. They were over here a few years ago and played really well, so we know we’ll have to play well to beat them.”

Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)
Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

While the team celebrated a fine series triumph, Tom Latham said the focus will shift to India in two days’ time.

“The preparation has been great but it’s important that we do shift our focus and adapt to a completely different side,” he said at the post-match press conference.

Ishant Sharma(3/36) and Rishabh Pant have been some of the best performers in the ongoing India intra-squad practice match in Southampton before the WTC final. Openers Shubman Gill (85 off 135 balls) and Rishabh Pant (121* off 94 balls) shone with the bat. Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 54 off 76 balls in India’s intra-squad practice match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. With the ball, Mohammed Siraj impressed with figures of 2/22 on the third day of the four-day practice match.

The duo of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway are in terrific form of late. Henry Nicholls who has a Test career average of 43.4 has averaged 47.3 in 2020 and 65.5 in 2021 amassing more than 500 runs combined in the last two years. Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable inning of 80 in the 2nd Test against England.

Tom Latham Stresses On Celebrating Since It Was Their First Test Series Win Since 1999 In England

Tom Latham said that India’s performances on their tour of England in 2018 — albeit in a 4-1 series defeat — showed that they would be tough to beat at the Ageas Bowl. The inaugural WTC final is scheduled to be held in Southampton from June 18-23. With the match finishing in under four days, the Kiwis will get a day extra to rest and prepare for the India challenge.

“Great to put the feet up for a day, the big challenge coming up but looking forward to celebrating, haven’t won here since 1999, so celebrate tonight and then look forward,” Latham said.

“Great support from Kiwis, the English, and also back home. The atmosphere was amazing.”

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)

New Zealand won the match by eight wickets and when asked what he would rate higher — a series triumph in England or a victory in the WTC final — Tom Latham said both.

“Both sounds pretty good. From our point of view, it was about coming here and focusing on these first two Test matches against England and trying to continue doing what we’ve been doing over a couple of years now.

“Now that we’ve ticked them off, it’s important that our focus shifts to India in a couple of days. It’s a fantastic achievement from the group. I think it’s important that we celebrate with each other. It hasn’t been done since ’99. It’s certainly an achievement that’s worth celebrating.”

“For us to come here as a group, it was about trying to play our brand of cricket and I thought we did that really well over the four days and got our rewards at the end.”

New Zealand’s first Test series win in England in 22 years moved them back to the top of the ICC rankings ahead of India. This was England’s first home Test series defeat since 2014.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Ravichandran Ashwin Explains Why He Is Successful Against The Left Handers

Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged more than 200 wickets of left-handers in Test cricket and he has explained why he is so successful against the southpaws.

The senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin loves bowling to the left-handers. He is known to trouble the southpaws with challenging lines and lengths and uses his variations to great effect.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin Thinks His Success Against Left-Handers Is Due To Challenging Both Sides Of Batsman’s Edge

In an interview with Sportstar, he revealed that he has enjoyed great success against them as he challenges both sides of the bat. In the history of Test cricket, he is the only bowler to dismiss left-handers more than 200 times. In the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand, he will be up against the likes of in-form batsmen Tom Latham, Devon Conway, and Henry Nicholls.

“I would like to think that it is because I challenge both sides of the edge. I get a batsman out through the inside edge and the outside and get the slip, short leg, and silly point in the play. I think that is one of the reasons the left-handers find it difficult. Also, I change the angle; I go over the wicket and to the extremes for around the stumps also. So challenging both sides of the bat gives me the edge,” explained Ravichandran Ashwin.

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

The duo of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway are in terrific form of late. Henry Nicholls who has a Test career average of 43.4 has averaged 47.3 in 2020 and 65.5 in 2021 amassing more than 500 runs combined in the last two years. Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable inning of 80 in the 2nd Test against England.

Ravichandran Ashwin: New Zealand Is A Fantastic Team Having Quality Cricketers

Responding to whether the Kiwis will enjoy an advantage of Virat Kohli-led India because of their two-match Test series against England prior to the finale, Ravichandran Ashwin added that the Black Caps are a fantastic team.

“We have played well to get to the World Test Championship final, and we are deservedly there. They are a fantastic team and have a lot of exciting cricketers. The fact that they would have played a couple of Test matches before the final will be good preparation for them. So we have to adapt; use our experience, and be ready,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton. The inaugural WTC final will take place at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, beginning on June 18.

Kane Williamson (elbow), BJ Watling (back), and Mitchel Santner (finger) were ruled out before the toss in the 2nd Test through injury and were replaced by Will Young, Tom Blundell, and Ajaz Patel. Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared the new ball in place of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, while Daryl Mitchell replaced Colin de Grandhomme at number seven as New Zealand made as many as 6 changes from the 1st Test.

A devastating opening spell from Matt Henry backed up by Neil Wagner and later Ajaz Patel snuffed out England’s hopes on the third day of the ongoing second Test at Edgbaston. England was left reeling at 3 for 30 as Matt Henry tore through their top order on either side of tea and by the close, they were nine down and just 37 runs ahead.
India vs New Zealand
India vs New Zealand
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India Can’t Take New Zealand Lightly In WTC Final, Says Gundappa Viswanath

Gundappa Viswanath, a former Indian batting legend lauded India’s current form but warned them against complacency. Virat Kohli and his men are eyeing a third straight big Test trophy.

After pulling off a huge Test series win vs Australia Down Under and registering a 3-1 win vs England at home the Indian team is one win away from winning the inaugural World Test Championship. India will take on New Zealand in the WTC final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on June 18.

Gundappa Viswanath
Gundappa Viswanath File picture

Gundappa Viswanath: India Can’t Take New Zealand Lightly

It’s difficult to pick a favourite between these two teams. India is ranked number one in the ICC Test rankings, while the Kiwis are ranked number two. The two teams are already in England.

New Zealand is currently playing a two-match Test series against England. The first match ended in a draw. India meanwhile reached Southampton on June 3, after serving a quarantine period of almost 10 days in India.

“Both the teams will be playing at a neutral venue. It will be a good contest. New Zealand are a good side. India can’t take them lightly. The atmosphere will be different,” Viswanath told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.

Gundappa Viswanath, Indian cricketer
Gundappa Viswanath, Indian cricketer (Photo Credits: Facebook)

“India has an edge over New Zealand. It will be an exciting clash. Winning in Australia and vs England will be a confidence booster for India in the WTC final,” Gundappa Viswanath, who played 91 Tests and 25 ODIs for India between 1969 and 1983, further told TimesofIndia.com.

There is a huge buzz around for the WTC final with many experts of the cricket fraternity comparing the match to a World Cup final. The mouth-watering clash between India and New Zealand has been given a reserve 6th day, to protect the match against bad weather.

Gundappa Viswanath Feels The WTC Final Will Be A Battle Between Indian Bowlers And Kiwi Batsmen

Interestingly, Gundappa Viswanath feels the key contest will be between the India bowlers and New Zealand batsmen. India last played a Test match against England in March this year winning the 4 Test series 3-1. Their last away tour was to Australia in 2020/21, where they staged a remarkable comeback to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after an embarrassing defeat in the 1st Adelaide Test.

“It will be India bowlers vs the New Zealand batsmen in the WTC final. India’s bowling is super strong right now. Look at Shami, Bumrah, Siraj and Ishant. They all are in good touch. Siraj did a wonderful job in Australia. I am sure he will do the job for Virat in the WTC final too,” Gundappa Viswanath signed off.

Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin, center, and Mohammed Shami
Indian players. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020. Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton.

If there are no injury concerns, the Indian pace troika that is expected to be in the playing XI for the clash starting June 18 would be Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami. India has not preferred playing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja together in an overseas Test.

In England, they have done it only once in 2014 at Manchester without much success. But this time, things might be different. Ravichandran Ashwin has 409 scalps in 78 Tests and Ravindra Jadeja has 220 scalps in 51 Tests.

Henry Nicholls’ sequence of scores in the last three Tests is 174 (vs West Indies), 56, 11, and 157 (vs Pakistan) while Ross Taylor have to find his form back as in 2021, the right-hand batsman has just managed to score 59 runs at an average of 19.7, which is way lower than his career average of 45.6. The 35-year-old BJ Watling will aim to finish his 12-year cricket career on a high.

However, he is going through a rough patch as in three innings in 2021 he has scored 23 runs while in 2020 he could only score 150 runs in seven innings.

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Difference Between The Two Sides In WTC Final Is Ravichandran Ashwin, Says Monty Panesar

Monty Panesar, former England spinner has identified Ravichandran Ashwin as the potential game-changer for the WTC final between India and New Zealand starting in Southampton from the 18th of June.

India meets New Zealand in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship from the 18th of June in Southampton and former left-arm orthodox Monty Panesar has picked off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to be the differentiator between the two sides. India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has witnessed a dramatic change in his fortunes in SENA since 2018 and is now a more lethal wicket-taker away from home.

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar. BCCI: Getty Images.

Monty Panesar: The Difference Between The Two Sides Is Going To Be Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin

He also has an excellent record against left-handers with his stock delivery leaving the left-hander. He was the first bowler in Test cricket to pick 200 wickets against left-handers and Monty Panesar feels that this would be one of the major reasons for his success in the WTC Final.

Monty Panesar said that according to him, the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin would be the first choice spinner and play ahead of Ravindra Jadeja in the match.

“I think New Zealand is quite a good team and Conway had a great game against England. They have got few left-handers in there so I am sure Ashwin will probably be the first-choice spinner,” stated Panesar.

“But with the weather around and so many left-handers in the New Zealand squad, Ashwin could be the match-winner in this final. The difference is going to be Ashwin, I think Tim Southee is bowling well, he could be the difference for New Zealand,” the former spinner added.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

Monty Panesar added that New Zealand is currently playing like the number one team in the world and thus it will not be easy for India in Southampton.

“New Zealand looks a better team than I think a lot of people thought in England and they are kind of playing like a number one team in the world. I think it is going to be a great Test match between the two sides and it’s not going to be easy for India.”

Monty Panesar further stated that Ravichandran Ashwin would play the perfect support act in the final and team India’s success would depend upon his success against the left-handers.

“If Ashwin can get the left-handers out cheaply, I think New Zealand would be in trouble, if Ashwin can’t then it would put more and more pressure on seamers. If he performs as he did in his country, India will be in a stronger position,” Panesar added.

The New Zealand XI have a number of southpaws in their line-up including the likes of Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls – two of their most successful batsmen of the last few years. Devon Conway, who scored a double hundred on Test debut is another left-hander who will be on Ravichandran Ashwin’s radar.

Monty Panesar: WTC Has Similar Effect Like India- Pakistan Or The Ashes

Temperatures in England have been soaring with an early summer and the wickets around the country are getting baked. This should suit the Indian spinners and Monty Panesar said that Virat Kohli will definitely go in with both his specialist spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

“We have a heatwave here and the weather is fantastic, I think the wicket will turn and India might go with two spinners. Also, Virat Kohli wants to get Ravindra Jadeja in the team.”

Monty Panesar said the WTC was a great advertisement for Test cricket and compared it to an India-Pakistan Test or the Ashes.

“I would like to see the match going to the fifth day, I think that would be a good advertisement for Test cricket and World Test Championship. I think it (best of three finals) can be the option as two best teams are playing against each other, it kind of has a similar effect as that of Test series between India and Pakistan or England and Australia,” Panesar added.

“This could be the next series like this which the teams would be looking forward to as you don’t have the home advantage here.”

Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images

Monty Panesar also gave his expert comments on the Ollie Robinson racist tweets controversy and had some advice for the bowler.

“ECB says cricket is for everyone, they stand against racism, they include diversity, they want people from diverse backgrounds to be involved in cricket. So the ECB didn’t have any option but to suspend him. I think the best will be, Ollie Robinson should say something about it rather than getting a statement from ECB or Sussex. Because if it comes from him people would listen. If there will be another statement people will say ‘oh yeah he is hiding behind it,” stated Panesar​.

Ollie Robinson will miss next week’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston after being suspended from all international cricket pending an investigation into racist and sexist Twitter messages, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced.

He made an impressive on-field debut in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, but his efforts were overshadowed by the re-emergence of racist and sexist social media messages the 27-year-old had posted as a teenager in 2012 and 2013.

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
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Nasser Hussain Praised Debutant Devon Conway Who Smashed Unbeaten 136 On 1st Day

Nasser Hussain has hailed New Zealand opener, Devon Conway, for scoring a splendid hundred on his Test debut against England on Day 1 of the first Test at Lord’s.

Devon Conway remained unbeaten on 136 off 240 balls as New Zealand ended the opening day at 246 for 3. The Kiwi left-hander looked in complete control during his stay out in the middle, hitting 16 fours. He featured in an unbroken stand of 132 with Henry Nicholls (46*) to help New Zealand recover from 114-3.

Devon Conway. Pic: Getty Images
Devon Conway. Pic: Getty Images

Nasser Hussain Praised Devon Conway’s Debut Ton

In his column for Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain wrote about Devon Conway’s debut Test hundred, stating the 29-year-old played a ‘lovely’ innings.

“Devon Conway played a lovely innings, in which he let the bowlers come to him, and batted on his Test debut as if to the manner born. And England’s bowlers put in a challenging shift on a difficult surface… In Conway, they had just the player to make good use of a nice batting strip,” Nasser Hussain wrote.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The former England skipper Nasser Hussain added that he was particularly impressed with the manner in which Devon Conway stuck it out during a probing spell by Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad after lunch.

“The tourists’ coach, Gary Stead, has spoken about picking on character, and somehow New Zealand just find a way of producing these tough cricketers. He had a nice rhythm to his batting, and he wasn’t afraid to suck up a tough spell when Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad were making it swing after lunch. “

“We’ve seen all around the world in recent years how openers have struggled against the new ball, but Conway looked a natural. I spoke to the New Zealand commentator Simon Doull about him before play, and he just said ‘we’ve got another one in the mould of Kane Williamson – he bats long and he bats time. Conway bats on middle stump, has a fluency to his game, and plays beside the ball, which opens up different scoring areas,” Nasser Hussain added.

Nasser Hussain also stressed the fact that batsmen need to adjust their technique when the ball is moving around and Devon Conway did that well.

“There is a lot to be said for leaving it (the ball) when necessary and letting the bowler come to you. That’s what Conway did so well here,” Nasser Hussain wrote.

An unbeaten hundred from New Zealand’s debutant opener, Devon Conway, set the platform for the visiting side as the return of Test cricket to Lord’s was marked by a day of hard work in the field for England.

Ollie Robinson, another man on Test debut, claimed two of the three wickets to fall before a century stand for the fourth wicket between Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls put New Zealand in control of proceedings as the 1st day saw New Zealand reaching 246/3 at stumps.

Devon Conway Breaks Sourav Ganguly’s Record Of Highest Score By A Debutant At Lords

Following his unbeaten 136, Devon Conway broke former India captain and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s record for the highest score by a debutant at Lord’s. Sourav Ganguly had scored 131 on his Test debut at the iconic ground back in 1996.

Devon Conway and Sourav Ganguly. (Getty Images)
Devon Conway and Sourav Ganguly. (Getty Images)

Devon Conway’s 136 is also the highest score by a Kiwi debutant while playing outside New Zealand. The southpaw broke skipper Kane Williamson’s record, who had smashed 131 on his Test debut against India in Ahmedabad. Before making his Test debut on Wednesday, the 29-year-old had featured in three ODIs and 14 T20Is where he amassed 225 runs averaging 75 and 473 runs averaging 59.12 respectively.

The sight of a 23-year-old Sourav Ganguly driving Dominic Cork through covers to bring up his maiden Test century will go down as one of the most iconic moments of Indian cricket. During India’s 1996 tour of England, Sourav Ganguly became the 10th Indian batsman to notch up a century on Test debut, but what the effort even more special is that the hundred came at the Mecca of cricket, the Lord’s Cricket Ground.

For 25 years, Sourav Ganguly’s 131 stood out as the highest score by a Test debutant at Lord’s, before New Zealand opener Devon Conway overtook the former India captain on Wednesday. Incidentally, Devon Conway and Sourav Ganguly also share a birthday of July 8.

Henry Nicholls © AFP
Henry Nicholls © AFP
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Henry Nicholls Worried About Threat Indian Spin Duo To Pose During WTC Final

Henry Nicholls, a Black Caps batsman is worried about the threat spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja may pose during the upcoming World Test Championship final as he feels India’s pace attack is on par with New Zealand’s world-class swing operators.

India and New Zealand will fight it out for the inaugural title at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl, one of those rare English tracks known to aid the slow bowlers for a considerable period in Test matches.

 Henry Nicholls celebrates after reaching his third test century. FRANCOIS NEL/GETTY IMAGES
Henry Nicholls celebrates after reaching his third test century. FRANCOIS NEL/GETTY IMAGES

Henry Nicholls: India Has A Very Good Seam Attack And Their Spin Duo Is Also Experienced And Pose A Threat

The 29-year-old batsman has played 37 Tests amassing 2152 runs averaging 43.92 with 7 tons. He is in stunning form as he managed 174 runs against the Windies and 154 runs against Pakistan averaging over 70 in the last two series. His career-best score of 174 also came during the 2nd Test against and in West Indies.

“India has a very good seam attack and also has experienced spinners like Ashwin and Jadeja. They have been consistent in all parts of the world (of late) and bring quality (to attack),” Henry Nicholls, told PTI in an interview.

If there are no injury concerns, the Indian pace troika that is expected to be in the playing XI for the clash starting June 18 would be Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami.

“Mohammed Shami along with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma have proven their quality over the years which is similar to our seamers (Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner) on whom we really pride ourselves on. So if you are facing that kind of a line-up, it’s an exciting challenge and as a group we are expecting it to be tough but also looking forward to the challenge,” the 29-year-old southpaw said.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

His teammate Devon Conway’s strategy of pouring dry kitty litter on the track in order to create rough was backed by Henry Nicholls as they are playing at a “neutral venue” which is known to assist the spinners.

“That was something that we experimented in the camp before we came over to UK. You managed to get some more turn and get some practice. So playing at a neutral venue, we need to check what the wickets will be like there. Also the guile of Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja is something that we need to be prepared for,” Henry Nicholls said.

Ravichandran Ashwin has 409 scalps in 78 Tests and Ravindra Jadeja has 220 scalps in 51 Tests.

Henry Nicholls: Test Series Win Against India In New Zealand In 2020 Will Give Kiwis Confidence But Since The Test Is At A Neutral Venue It Levels The Playing Field

Henry Nicholls was a part of the New Zealand team that thrashed India inside three days in two home Tests in early 2020, something that will give them confidence going into the final.

“It’s an exciting challenge as finally we will be playing a Test match at a neutral venue. So that for both sides kind of levels the playing field. But we know and accept that it’s a different challenge but as a group we take a lot of confidence from that series win against India. Obviously, Number one and two playing the final is a challenge too,” he said.

Henry Nicholls’ sequence of scores in the last three Tests is 174 (vs West Indies), 56, 11, and 157 (vs Pakistan).

“It’s nice to kick on and get a couple of big scores. A season before this, I was playing well but not getting the results, so a lot of it was like keeping the things same as it had been. If I get in, I want to bat as long as I can. To be able to do that couple of times during the summer, it was good to contribute to couple of Test wins,” said Henry Nicholls.

Kane Williamson in action during the first Test vs West Indies. (AP)
Kane Williamson in action during the first Test vs West Indies. (AP)

He has recently had a couple of big partnerships with skipper Kane Williamson, including a monumental 369 run stand against Pakistan in Christchurch.

“Kane is one of the best in the world and so consistent across all three formats that you just try to watch him and learn as to how he goes about his work,” Henry Nicholls said.

Before the WTC final, New Zealand will play England at the Lord’s in the first of the two-Test matches. Black Caps’ highest scorer in that fateful 2019 World Cup final still at times finds it difficult to shrug off the disappointment.

“It’s something that will be there forever,” said Nicholls about the 2019 WC Final.

“It would have been an amazing game of cricket anywhere in the world but it happened to be the World Cup final at Lord’s which made it special. It was disappointing as a group not to win that but we certainly held our heads high after such a performance.” he concluded.

England beat New Zealand in the World Cup 2019 final on the boundary count — 26 to 17 after Super Over was tied. In the Cricket World Cup 2019, England and New Zealand couldn’t be separated at Lord’s in London. Both the sides were locked at 241, which led to a tie-breaker — a common occurrence in T20 cricket, especially in the IPL. As per the then ICC rules, in case of a tied Super Over, the side with the most number of boundaries wins the game.

New Zealand Test cricket team (Image Credit: Twitter)
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New Zealand Became World No. 1 Test Team After Defeating Pakistan 2-0

New Zealand became the World No. 1 Test side for the first time in their Test history and captain Kane Williamson took pride in the ‘special’ team culture existent in the Blackcaps unit over the years.

Kane Williamson led New Zealand to a 2-0 clean sweep of the Test series against Babar Azam less Pakistan. On Wednesday, New Zealand became the No. 1 Test team for the first time in their history overtaking heavyweights India and Australia.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. Credits: REUTERS/Martin Hunter

New Zealand Becomes No. 1 Test Side After Defeating Pakistan 2-0

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson credited former skipper Brendon McCullum for starting off a “special” team culture that has helped them in route to reaching the top of ICC Test Rankings. Kane Williamson said New Zealand will continue to build on the culture and are focusing on improving and trying to adapt to changes.

On Wednesday, New Zealand became the No. 1 Test side for the first time in their history as they leapfrogged India and Australia to reach the top of the standings. The Blackcaps, with 118 points, are 2 points ahead of Australia and 4 points ahead of India, who are at third place.

Kyle Jamieson
Kyle Jamieson-Photo Credit: Reuters

New Zealand achieved the historic feat after beating Pakistan by an innings and 176 runs in the 2nd and final Test of a 2-match series in Christchurch. Kane Williamson’s men completed a clean sweep as the skipper led the show with the bat, hitting a double hundred following which young fast bowler Kyle Jamieson picked up 11 wickets in the match- 5 in first and 6 in second innings.

Pakistan scored 297 and 186 in the 2nd innings while New Zealand managed 659/6 declared as three of their batsmen scored tons. Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell hit centuries. The team had won the first Test by 101 runs.

Kane Williamson: Under Brendon McCullum, New Zealand Had Drastic Changes And The Team Culture Continues To Grow

Kane Williamson, the World No. 1 Test batsman, said New Zealand’s team culture began to change under Brendon McCullum’s captaincy and they are looking to do is build on it. Kane Williamson said it’s heartening to see youngsters coming in with a positive attitude while praising Kyle Jamieson and Daryl Mitchell’s performances in the series against Pakistan.

“Achieving this standing means there has been a lot of hard work. It’s a very special moment. It was hard to talk about when the Test summer was on. But it’s nice to sit back now and take a moment and enjoy it,” Kane Williamson said on Wednesday.

“It (team culture) continues to grow. In my observation of teams, over a period of time, you have changes in personnel. Under Brendon, his team had some drastic changes, in terms of the culture, which started things off to a large extent. From our perspective, we have been looking to build on it and grow and adjust when needed. That’s a continuation and something we will try to focus on and try to improve.”

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum (Image Credit: Google)

“When you see some younger guys come in, the likes of Daryl Mitchell and Kyle Jamieson, there were some outstanding statistical contributions in this game. But it’s more about their attitude that they brought in, that’s really special,” Williamson said.

New Zealand are in with a chance to play the World Test Championship final as well but they are currently at the third spot of the table behind Australia and India. New Zealand have been unstoppable at home, clean sweeping India, West Indies and Pakistan over the last 12 months.

Shoaib akhtar, PCB, Sourav Ganguly, BCCI, pakistan national cricket team, mohammad yousuf, yousuf,
Shoaib Akhtar. Photo Credit: Twitter.
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Shoaib Akhtar Criticizes PCB For Pakistan Playing With Average Players

Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan pacer lambasted the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for bringing in “average players” and said the team is playing “school-level” cricket with Pakistan finding themselves in a difficult position in the second Test against New Zealand.

Pakistan lost the 1st Test and preceding T20I series by 2-1. New Zealand who won 1st Test by 101 runs after Kane Williamson scored a century. Kane Williamson scored his 3rd successive ton as New Zealand scored a mammoth 659/6 declared with 3 batsmen including the skipper scoring tons.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Shoaib Akhtar : Pakistan Bringing And Playing Average Players

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls scripted the third-highest partnership for the 4th wicket for the Kiwis in the longest format of the game as the hosts completely dominated the Pakistan bowlers. The 369 run 4th wicket partnership saw Kane Williamson scoring yet another double ton.

“The policies of the Pakistan Cricket Board is seeing them get what they had sowed. They keep bringing and playing average players, and they keep making an average team and will continue to do average work and because of this, average results will keep coming,” Akhtar said in a video he shared on Twitter.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Whenever Pakistan will play Test cricket, they will be exposed. They are playing school-level cricket and the management has made them school-level cricketers. And now they are again thinking to change the management but when will you change?” he added.

This was Kane Williamson’s fourth double ton and this knock of 238 was his third in second consecutive series after he scored 251 against West Indies in previous Test series and 129 in 1st Test. Shoaib Akhtar criticized Pakistan’s team management and coaches for the team’s lacklustre performances against New Zealand.

Shoaib Akhtar joins the list of cricketers criticizing the newly appointed coaches as the trio of Younis Khan, Waqar Younis and Misbah-Ul Haq have come under criticism for poor treatment of senior pacer Mohammed Amir.

Kane Williamson Scores Another Double Ton As Kiwis Dominate Day 3 Of 2nd Test

Kane Williamson played an innings of 238 and New Zealand declared on 659/6 taking a lead of 362 runs on the third day of the second game. Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell contributed 157 and 102* runs respectively as the hosts put a gigantic total on the board.

Henry Nicholls
Henry Nicholls. Image Credit: Getty Images

Pakistan had to bat out 11 overs before stumps and Kyle Jamieson who picked 5 wickets in 1st innings sent back Shan Masood (0) to the pavilion. The visitors ended the day on 8/1 — trailing New Zealand by 354 runs.

New Zealand is leading the two-match series against Pakistan as they secured a 101-run win in the first game.

Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, New Zealand vs India 2020, India
Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Not At All Surprised To See The Consistency Of Kane Williamson: VVS Laxman

Kane Williamson, New Zealand skipper has now scored a hundred in every Test he has played this summer, and former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman is not at all surprised to see the consistency of the world number one batsman.

Kane Williamson hit an unbeaten 112 on day two of the second Test against Pakistan to put the Kiwis on top here at the Hagley Oval on Monday. This is his third consecutive ton after his 129 in the first Test and career-best 251 against West Indies in December 2020.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Kane Williamson’s Consistency Doesn’t Surprise VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman explained the reason behind his phenomenal success and said that the Kiwi skipper is the true role model for any youngster who is trying to make a name by playing cricket.

The former Indian batsman, who was famous for his wrist work stroke play in his playing days, said Kane Williamson’s unbelievable work ethics and attention to detail while preparing for any game are the prime reasons behind his success.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman (Photo: IANS)

“Not at all surprised to see the consistency of Kane Williamson. Unbelievable work ethics and attention to detail while preparing for any match are the reasons behind his success. A true role model for any youngster to emulate,” Laxman tweeted.

Kane Williamson scored above 6500 runs in over 80 Tests averaging in the 50s and notched ahead of Steve Smith and Virat Kohli to become No. 1 batsman.

New Zealand Trails Pakistan By 11 Runs Ending 2nd Day At 286/3

The Kiwis concluded day two of the ongoing Test at 286/3, trailing Pakistan by 11 runs. Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls are currently unbeaten on 112 and 89 respectively. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, and Faheem Ashraf scalped one wicket each.

Starting their innings on the second day, New Zealand openers provided a steady start to the side as Tom Latham and Tom Blundell put on 52 runs for the first wicket, but Pakistan came back strongly as the visitors dismissed both the openers in a span of six balls.

Henry Nicholls
Henry Nicholls. Image Credit: Getty Images

Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls though went past their half-century mark after arriving at the crease with the score at 71/3 following Ross Taylor’s wicket. In the end, the duo saw out the final session of play and the Kiwis ended day two with seven more wickets remaining in the bag. New Zealand had bundled out Pakistan for 297 in the first innings as Kyle Jamieson scalped five wickets.

New Zealand had won 1st Test with Kane Williamson scoring a ton but the match was well poised as Pakistan fought till the very end but lost despite Fawad Alam scoring 102 and stand-in skipper Mohammed Rizwan’s valuable contributions in both innings.

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