Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori reckons that left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner could have an important part to play in the T20 World Cup 2021 final, considering the number of right-handers in the Australian batting line-up. Vettori asserted that Santner is good enough to make an impact against any batter.
While leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has spun a web around opposition batters, 29-year-old Santner has not had much to do with the ball. He has claimed only a couple of wickets but has returned economical figures most times he has come on to bowl.
Previewing the Australia-New Zealand final, Vettori, regarded as one of the finest left-arm spinners to have played the game, told ESPNCricinfo that Santner might enjoy the opportunity to bowl to the right-handers in the Australian line-up. He stated:
“Santner has an opportunity to bowl to more right-handers, particularly the likes of Smith and Stoinis later on, potentially even Finch early on. But I think he is the sort of player who has enough skills to be able to bowl to anyone.”
Surprisingly, Santner bowled only one over during the semi-final against England in which he gave away eight runs. James Neesham and Glenn Phillips combined to complete the fifth bowler’s quota.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had questioned New Zealand captain Kane Williamson’s tactics of giving a solitary over to Santner just because two left-handers from England, Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali, were out in the middle.
“Santner a good match-up against a number of Australian batsmen” – Tom Moody
Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody also admitted that Santner’s left-arm spin could come in handy against a number of Aussie batters. Pointing out that the Kiwi slow bowler has impressed in the limited opportunities that he has received in the T20 World Cup 2021, Moody commented:
“I think there is no doubt that Santner, with his left-arm spin, is a good match-up against a number of the Australian batsmen. He’s had success before and, in this tournament, he has bowled pretty well.”
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Santner strangled India in Dubai with figures of 0/15 in his four overs during the group clash. In 58 T20Is, he has claimed 62 wickets at a strike rate of 18.7 and an economy rate of 7.30.