• Tuesday, May 24, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Nicholls: Rankings boost a by-product of team culture

  • Published at 08:56 pm February 25th, 2019
Henry Nicholls

Since late 2016, when they lost away in India, they have won six of the last seven series they've played, including a special win in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan

New Zealand have scaled to No 2 in the ICC Test Team Rankings in the latest update, and Henry Nicholls, their batsman, saw it as a validation of the work they've done for the past few years.

Kane Williamson's men are on 107 points on the table, behind India's 116 and ahead of South Africa's 105. Since late 2016, when they lost away in India, they have won six of the last seven series they've played, including a special win in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan. 

When they take on Bangladesh in a three-Test series starting this week, they will be looking to extend their victory sequence to five in a row.

"It's pretty cool," said Nicholls after the latest rankings were up. "It's testament to the cricket we have been playing for the last 12 months if not longer."

Hailing the depth in the squad, he added, "It's been great having a lot of different guys come in and doing well. It's a by-product of the culture we've been trying to build: enjoying each other's success and making sure everyone is clear on their role. It's nice to have that depth around the nation."

Among the individual rankings, New Zealand have four batsmen in the top 20. Williamson is at No 2 on the ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen, while Nicholls is at No 5, Tom Latham at No 12 and Ross Taylor at No 19. Nicholls, in fact, has four hundreds and six fifties since the start of 2017; his 1035 runs in that period is third for New Zealand, behind Williamson and Latham.

"It's not something that I go out and try to achieve or focus on, but to be around some really great batters in the world, it is pretty humbling," said Nicholls, playing down the achievement. "Like I say, it's a by-product of the cricket we've been playing as a team."

Having said that, he cautioned his side not to get carried away by the plaudits. "It's important for us [to know] that we're only as good as the cricket that we play against Bangladesh.

"So while some of those rankings things are cool to acknowledge and a lot of people might talk about, for us it's keeping it really simple and acknowledging the challenge Bangladesh are going to pose for us."

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