Nicol’s belligerent batting style is key behind his rise as Test opener

Updated: Mar 07, 2012, 13:04 PM IST

Wellington: Rob Nicol’s rise as a Test opener for New Zealand has been credited to his aggressive batting style, as he was once a stern middle order batsman more likely to tire a bowling attack than batter them.

During his time as a middle order batsman, he used to score his runs so slowly that it was hard to imagine he was ever really on the Black Caps radar.

His shift in approach to become a highly belligerent batsman, who is always ready to come down the track at any bowler and even happier to slap them back over their head, has not only made him a batsman bowlers don`t like bowling to, but has also elevated him to the national team.

Kiwi captain Ross Taylor confirmed on Tuesday that the Black Caps had shuffled the batting order around to suit Nicol who will open with Martin Guptill.

“Just because it`s your debut you don`t need to change anything. A few years ago Rob Nicol would have scored 50 off 200 balls. The last couple of years he`s changed his game and he`s been rewarded for scoring a lot of runs. I don`t expect Rob to change the way he plays; go out and see off the new ball and play his shots,” a website quoted Taylor, as saying.

Taylor also confirmed Nicol`s aggressive type of off spin would be used as well, although most have only seen him play in the shorter forms of the game and think he can only hit.

ANI