Nicholas loved one man above all others, and that man was Mark Nicholas. It was the quality that gave him his edge throughout his county career, when he used it to captain, with some skill, many players who were better than he was.
And it was a talent that transferred well to television, where his effortless charm on commentary and in post-play interviews combined the bedside manner of a particularly brilliant, somewhat haughty surgeon and a brief chat with Prince Charles. He pulled it all off with a nudge and a wink, too.
So who exactly is this bellowing, brazen groveller fighting for his life in the Channel 9 commentary box? Nicholas is now the most Australian man in there. And that takes some doing when you're sitting next to Shane Warne, Bill Lawrie and Mark Taylor. Even Tony Greig has responded by becoming South African again.
During the Test series (which, lest we forget, involved two catastrophic defeats) Nicholas seemed to spend many hours in his green and gold reverie, watching a different game to everyone else. 'That is one of the most dramatic pull-shots you will ever see,' he yodelled as desperate, sweaty Matthew Hayden hoicked one to cow corner. 'OH NO!' he yelled, when Haydos was caught a couple of balls later.
Today, when Hussey took an (admittedly excellent) outfield catch in the Twenty20 game from his brother's bowling, he said, 'That one's Michael, the other one's David - the Husseys have just had a Melbourne moment...', a toe-curler that he followed later with: 'Gilchrist, Haddin, Ronchi.. Australia really are blessed'.
Adam Gilchrist, if you didn't know, had been added to the C9 roster for the day.
Well, they say the converts are always the most zealous.