Ahead of the New Zealand cricket team’s departure for England to play a three-match Test series, the Black Caps suffered a setback with their batter Henry Nicholls suffering a calf injury during training, which could rule him out of the tour.
The Kiwi head coach, Gary Stead, revealed that the 30-year-old batting stalwart had sustained the injury to his right leg at the pre-tour camp in Mount Maunganui. He is set to undergo a scan after picking up the injury during running drills on Monday.
The series will begin with the inaugural Test at Lord’s from June 2. The second Test will be played at Trent Bridge from June 10, while the final Test will be at Headingley, Leeds from June 23.
“He’s having an MRI scan later today (Tuesday), so we’ll know more after that as to the extent of it,” Stead said. “But he’s got it strapped up and I guess the next 24 to 48 hours will give us an indication of how serious that is,” said Stead.
Nicholls has been a vital cog in New Zealand’s Test squad of late, averaging 40.38 in 46 Tests with eight centuries.
In the current cycle of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), the middle-order batter has 280 runs in six matches, including a hundred that came in Black Caps’ most recent Test series against South Africa. In the previous edition of the WTC which New Zealand won, he finished as the third-highest run-getter for his team with 592 runs in 11 matches at an average of 39.46.
Hosts England are currently at the bottom of the WTC table with a point percentage of 12.50, while New Zealand are sixth with 38.88.
The series also marks the beginning of the new era of Test cricket for England, with Ben Stokes undertaking his first assignment as Test captain.