By Niall Anderson in London

The Black Caps will be sweating on a fitness test for opener Henry Nicholls ahead of their Cricket World Cup final against England on Sunday.

Nicholls didn't field in New Zealand's semifinal victory over India, as a precaution after suffering a tight right hamstring while batting the day before.

That innings – 28 off 51 balls – was the highest score by a New Zealand opener in six games, and Nicholls' 68-run partnership with Kane Williamson was ultimately important in the Black Caps managing to build what was a competitive total on a tough wicket for batting.


It also ensured that, after Nicholls had been dismissed for a first-ball duck and eight in his first two World Cup knocks, there'd be no temptation for the Black Caps to bring back Colin Munro at the top of the order for the finale at Lord's.

However, they may be forced to, if Nicholls can't pass a fitness test tomorrow.

Henry Nicholls. Photo / Photosport
Henry Nicholls. Photo / Photosport

The Canterbury left-hander, who missed the start of the tournament with a left hamstring injury, was back in the nets today, batting for nearly two hours. While Black Caps coach Gary Stead saw that as a positive sign, he cautioned that he wouldn't be able to make a call on his opening pairing until after tomorrow's training.

"He had a long, long bat, and everything came through strongly, which was good. He'll have a pretty thorough fitness test tomorrow afternoon when we train, and we'll make a call then around his fitness.

"If he's ruled out, then I know there are either guys in the squad who I know will step up and will want to be part of this occasion as well.

"We've got 15 guys here and 15 guys I know will want to play in the World Cup final.

"But we'll just cross that bridge when we get there and see what happens."