Mitchell Santner will be trying his luck again in the three-match ODI series and T20I series against India starting October 22. The last time Santner came to India, he picked up 3 wickets from 5 ODIs. He bowled at an economical rate but could not pick up wickets at crucial junctures. The Kiwi will be looking forward to using his experience from the last series and try to make amends for it. Santner has been selected in the ODI and T20I squad. Since the last time he came to India, the left-arm spinner has gained experience, picking up 44 wickets from 39 ODIs including a fifer.
“It is tough (to bowl against India), they are a very good player of spin. They have grown up playing spin. I just try to keep it pretty simple,” Santner revealed to PTI ahead of the practice game against Board President’s XI.
“Bowl the ball reasonably quick on the surface and make the batsmen commit a mistake. If you get a few dots and build pressure that way, you can hopefully get a few wickets. That what I’ll be trying to do,” he added.
On being asked about his plans against the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, he said, “Not easy. He’s a very good player, and so is a lot of their team. They’re in good form, the way they played against Australia was very good. The last time we came here, we did ok. Hopefully, we can do one better this time and take the series.”
Santner feels that his experience in the previous series will help him. “We haven’t been here for a while. But for me, it’s about taking those past experiences of the way I bowled over here, and the way to bowl spin over here. So I’ll be looking to do that,” he added.
The left-arm spinner also took advice from New Zealand’s legendary off-spinner Daniel Vettori, “I have (learnt from him). He’s a very good left-arm spinner. I am not trying to bowl miracle balls every ball.It’s about tying up a batsman and waiting for them to make a mistake,” he said.
“Especially on wickets that offer a little bit, I watched a lot of Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja. They just try to bowl very consistent and good areas and wait for the batsmen to hit a big shot and get out or run past one. I have taken a little bit of footage from there”, he added.
Santner also talked about Had. “He is a very good striker. He tends to hit down the ground very good. So I guess it’s key to take the length off him. I saw him hit (Adam) Zampa for 3 sixes in an over. So, once he hits one, he wants to keep going.”
“So if you can tie him down or make him hit singles, hopefully, he will try to play a big shot and go for a ball that’s not quite there. But yeah he’s a very good player and striker. So we have to beware,” he added.
Santner enjoys bowling on Indian pitches. He elaborated, “It always tends to spin here more, which is a good thing for me as a spinner. But yeah the Indians are very good players of spin, and we have to work really hard,”
“Hopefully get a little bit of turn out there, but just hopefully be able to control them a little bit. Try and get a few dots in the over and try and be happy with maybe 4 an over. Looking forward to the series, ” he said.
Santner bowled well alongside Ish Sodhi and played a major role in India’s batting collapse in ICC World T20 2016 opener at Nagpur. “I think on that day, we did keep it pretty simple, tried to bowl relatively quick. Didn’t try and give them too much and let them make a mistake. We can learn from that experience and take it into this series. We have to adapt, if it’s not going to sin as much then you might have to change the way we bowl,” Santner recalled.