Each time a team tours India, the focus is always on the quality of the spinners that it brings. New Zealand are in India to play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is and all eyes are on the Kiwi left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner. He had done well on the previous tour and once again, the onus will be on him to restrict the strong Indian line-up.
Indian batsmen are known to be good against spin and one player who has emerged as a tormentor of slow bowling is Hardik Pandya. The all-rounder recently made a mockery of Australian spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. Santner is wary of the threat Pandya poses and has a strategy to tackle him.
“He’s a very good striker. He tends to hit down the ground well. I guess the key is to take the length off him, and maybe be happy with singles. He’s a very good player and can hit (big). I saw him hit Zampa for three sixes in an over (during the first ODI against Australia at Chennai),” quoted Mitchell Santner according to TOI.
“Once he hits one, he wants to keep going. If you can tie him down or make him hit singles, and then go from there and hopefully he tries to play a big shot and go for a ball that’s not quite there… but yeah, he’s a very good striker (of the ball). So we have to beware (of him),” added the left arm spinner.
Learning from Axar and Jadeja
Mitchell Santner mentioned that Indians handle the spin pretty well and that he’ll try to build pressure with a few dot balls. He is trying to pick up a few tricks by watching the videos of Indian left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
“On wickets that offer a little bit, I watched a lot of Axar Patel and 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’ve taken a little bit of footage from there,” added Santner.
“It’s tough (bowling in India). They are very good players of spin. (They’ve) grown up playing spin. I just try to keep it pretty simple… try and keep the ball off them… bowl the ball reasonably quicker on the surface and force the batsmen to make a mistake. If you get a few dots and build pressure that way, you can hopefully get a few wickets. That’s what I’ll be trying to do,” concluded Santner.