Black Caps captain Tim Southee took an unlikely route to prepare for tonight's T20 against Sri Lanka at Eden Park, by rolling the arm over and opening the batting in a social midweek cricket league in Auckland.

With regular skipper Kane Williamson resting tonight, Southee will lead the Black Caps for the third time in his career.

And judging by his return for The Sons CC at the Auckland domain on Wednesday night, it could be a long night for the Kiwis.

Southee was dismissed for 7 off 10 balls after opening the batting and returned 0-33 from his four overs at the bowling crease.

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In his defense, the 63-test seamer was bowling spin to the Backyard Bowljobs' batsmen, who scored 177/5 from their 20 overs.

Southee's Sons could only muster 147 in reply.

"The Sons CC happier than a dog with two tales with their new recruited horses for their stable tonight," posted The Last Man Stands on Twitter. Pity they turned out to be ponies."

Scorecard from the Wednesday night match at Auckland domain. Photo / Last Man Standing.
Scorecard from the Wednesday night match at Auckland domain. Photo / Last Man Standing.

The lighthearted match will be a buried memory when Southee walks out at Eden Park tonight, where the Black Caps are experimenting with some of their leadership roles.

Craig McMillan will step in as head coach and Southee will be skipper.

"It's always a privilege, it's something exciting and something different and something I am very much looking forward to," said Southee.

The veteran swing bowler is still getting his head around the challenge of how to approach Eden Park's short boundaries.

"Obviously it is a unique ground with the boundary sizes, very fortunate enough that a number of the guys have played a lot of cricket here, so there is a lot of experience being called upon."