Henry Nicholls
Henry Nicholls (AFP Photo)

One of the major reasons for New Zealand’s 1-4 defeat to India in a recent five-match ODI series was their openers not being able to stitch a decent partnership.

New Zealand tired three different pair during the series but neither delivered with 23 between Martin Guptill and Colin Munro in the second ODI being their best start.

Following his failures, the hosts dropped Munro for the fourth ODI where they returned to winning ways but that had a lot to do with India’s disastrous show with the bat as they collapsed to 92-all out than with the openers firing on all cylinders.

For the ongoing three-match series against Bangladesh, New Zealand have persisted with the pair of Guptill and Henry Nicholls to lay a solid platform at the top. There has been a shift in how the top-two have started – instead of going hammer and tongs early on, the duo decided to be cautious in a chase of 233 in the first ODI.

The result was New Zealand’s first century stand since December 2017 as they completed a facile eight-wicket win in Napier.

However, Nicholls says there isn’t a change in their approach nor they have been instructed to do away with the aggressive starts. “There’s no real direction in terms of being like that,” Nicholls said on Friday ahead second ODI to be played on Saturday. “Me and Martin assessed the other night that we’re chasing 230 [233], the importance that their opening bowlers were to play in that.”

Nicholls, who scored 53 off 80 with five boundaries, said they played as per the situation and keeping wickets in hand was crucial to their chase.

“We knew if we took it longer, [with] wickets in hand that was going to be important. It was more about assessing that situation in chasing that total, than an overall directive,” the 27-year-old said.

New Zealand won’t shy away from going big early on if the situation demands. “It might be a case of having to push harder in that first 10 [overs]. So again, it’s trying to be adaptable and read those situations as quick as we can I guess,” he said.

New Zealand will be aiming to clinch the series in Christchurch having taken 1-0 lead by virtue of their win in the series opener on Wednesday.