Cricket: Henry Nicholls says Black Caps are on the right path

Henry Nicholls in action for New Zealand during day four of the first test against Australia at the Basin Reserve. Photo/Getty
Henry Nicholls in action for New Zealand during day four of the first test against Australia at the Basin Reserve. Photo/Getty

New test batsman Henry Nicholls reckons New Zealand don't need to change much in terms of preparation and mindset ahead of a second test they must win against Australia starting in Christchurch on Saturday.

Lefthander Nicholls, who hit a half century on his debut in the innings and 52-run defeat at the Basin Reserve, views the Hagley Oval test as an opportunity to put in a far better performance than they did in Wellington.

"I'm not sure about pressure," he said yesterday.

"I don't think we need to do too much differently in terms of our preparation and our mindset. Sometimes when you lose it's easy to look into a lot of things that went wrong.

"There's a few things did go wrong in Wellington, that's why we lost the test. But for us it's an emphasis on keeping it nice and simple and not being too caught up in the big occasion.

"It's Brendon's (McCullum) last game, but him as captain and his philosophy is always to go out and enjoy it and give it your best. That's what we're trying to focus on."

Nicholls believes New Zealand must retain the confidence they have derived from strong test performances in the last couple of years, and set aside the "hiccup" of the Basin Reserve a few days ago.

"We're looking to move forward confidently and know that the good cricket we've been playing will translate into this game," he said.

Nicholls made his New Zealand debut in the opening ODI against Sri Lanka on Boxing Day on his home ground, Hagley Oval. Now it's his second test before his supporters.

"It's always nice to be back in your home town and with the great facility here at Hagley it's a ground that I really personally enjoy playing at.

"I know the guys in the team also enjoy playing here. It's a great facility and it's usually a good wicket."

As for coach Mike Hesson's plea for more green in the pitch at Hagley, Nicholls believes it's "something to be expected in New Zealand".

"We're known for those conditions and I've got no problem playing in them. I know it's something that we're trying to get used to. I've played out here a few times and I'm pretty comfortable with it."

Nicholls admitted the intensity from first-class to test cricket was a step up.

"But there's also a lot that goes into it, the buildup into the test, and it's against Australia so it adds that as well. I really enjoyed the step up in intensity."

That's likely to ramp up again on Saturday, considering the state of the series, the fact a New Zealand win would deny Australia top spot in the test rankings, and that it's McCullum's final match for his country.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 26 Mar 2017 19:39:06 Processing Time: 503ms