In late 2017, Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach at the time, was asked about Henry Nicholls’ position in the side. In short, why was he picked ahead of players who were more impressive on paper? To his credit, Mike Hesson admitted that Nicholls numbers weren't very good. He had to. They weren’t. But he also said that he'd seen enough to suggest that Nicholls was one player who was worth investing in. Since that time, Nicholls has repaid that investment with interest.
As he predominantly batted at number 6, opportunities to prove himself with the bat did not come along very often, but he grasped the few that did come his way and very quickly made himself an indispensable member of the team.
It was a particularly successful season of domestic cricket in the position of opening batsman for the Canterbury side that first got Nicholls noticed and had the selectors sitting up a little straighter. And now that his coach from Canterbury (Gary Stead) has taken over the national side, Nicholls has been promoted to open for the national side. He has not yet shown the form that first got him selected as an opener, but he's got a history of repaying any faith shown in him.
His fitness and speed is right at the top of the level expected from professional cricketers, and his running between the wickets is as sharp as anyone’s, even when he’s been at the wicket for over an hour.
It will be a family affair for the Nicholls at the world cup, as his older brother Willy is part of the New Zealand management team.