Cricket: Blackcaps star Henry Nicholls makes rare club appearance with India series looming

Blackcaps star Henry Nicholls has made a rare outing for his hometown club in country cricket, as he prepares for the test series against India in November.  

The No.10 test batter in the world returned to his roots, turning out for his Peninsula Harbour side.

Nicholls, 29, is back where it all began, but he wasn't the only Nicholls on show, with the Blackcaps star playing alongside brother Andrew, who wears the No.69 shirt. 

"Yeah, it's a good number these days, I hear people like that number," Andrew Nicholls jokes. 

Father Rick Nicholls also played for the club. 

"We live down the road and have been here for 30 years," Rick Nicholls tells Newshub. "For Henry, it's probably a great day to be here."

For the Blackcaps batter, this was technically the start of his build up to a tour of India.

"Next weekend, I got the start of the Plunket Shield, then I'm off to India, so there is no better place to start than on the artificial out here," Nicholls jokes.

He hasn't turned out for his Harbour side for almost a decade, so he's now considered a ringer. 

"Alright, boys, we're a bit short today, so we've had to call in a new player, so everyone just introduce themselves to Henry," warned the team captain. 

After that rousing team talk, play was underway, but by not turning up to Thursday night training ment Nicholls was summoned to the boundary. 

The wait was worthwile, with Nicholls dominating with ball in hand, with one of his victims humble in defeat. 

"I had no confidence and got absolutely owned," one of Nicholls' victims says. 

Three wickets from Nicholls helped restrict Kaiapoi to 131, before one of the most important features of country cricket - a lunch matching up to anything Nicholls would receive at Lord's. 

"Yeah, it's a very good spread, but it's probably not the most nutritional," he jokes. 

Either way it worked. A well-fed Nicholls made easy work of chasing down 132 for victory. 

All that's left now, is to replicate that form against India in November.