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SUPER KINGS' DEN > News > News > New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner calls Chennai “Home away from home” after taking 100 ODI Wickets against Afghanistan
New Zealand's Mitchell Santner calls Chennai "Home away from home" after taking 100 ODI Wickets against Afghanistan

New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner calls Chennai “Home away from home” after taking 100 ODI Wickets against Afghanistan

Mitchell Santner has emerged as a standout star in the early stages of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. What’s more, he enjoyed the added advantage of playing at his Indian Premier League franchise’s home ground, the Chennai Super Kings, when New Zealand faced Afghanistan on Wednesday.

In front of his Chennai Super Kings fans, Santner played a pivotal role in dismantling Afghanistan’s middle and lower order, finishing the match with impressive figures of 3/39, contributing to New Zealand’s convincing 149-run victory. This strong start in the tournament has catapulted Santner to the top of the wicket-taking charts, with a total of 11 wickets in New Zealand’s four matches so far.

“I guess when we turn up here for IPL, we’ve played on wickets that kind of look similar to that,” Santner said in reference to his experience of conditions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

“Today, it looked like it swung a little bit and actually spun a little bit more under lights, which kind of helped that we lost the toss and batted first.”

Mitchell Santner Completes 100 ODI Wickets in Chennai

Furthermore, Santner’s first wicket on Wednesday in Chennai marked a significant milestone as he became only the second Black Caps spinner to achieve 100 One Day International dismissals, following in the footsteps of fellow spinner Daniel Vettori.

“It’s obviously nice to get to that milestone,” the left-arm spinner said.

“I guess I wasn’t thinking about it too much leading into the game it’s just about trying to perform my role and do a job out there just like every other game.

“I think I’m 200 odd wickets behind him, so it’s going to be a tough challenge to get there.”

Santner’s exceptional performance on the Indian pitches not only places him atop the overall wicket-taking list but also sets him apart by nearly doubling the tally of the next-highest spinner in that category, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.

The 31-year-old attributes his success not only to his own skills but also to the pressure created by his team’s opening bowlers. Often utilized during the middle overs, Santner emphasizes the advantage of bowling in tandem with New Zealand’s fast bowler, Lockie Ferguson.

“It’s obviously nice to come here and see the ball spin a little bit, you don’t really get those (wickets) in New Zealand,” Santner noted.

“I think as a whole, we’ve been bowling in partnerships, that’s what we talk about. The guys up front today Boult and Matt Henry did an exceptional job in getting that run rate up, and then it kind of makes them want to play bigger shots in the middle (overs).

“I think as a partnership, as a unit, we’ve been bowling pretty well and I was lucky to chip in today for a few. But I think the way the seam has kind of set that up was massive for us.”

Santner’s contributions were not limited to his bowling performance against Afghanistan; he also shone in the field with an outstanding catch that helped dismiss Afghanistan’s skipper, Hashmatullah Shahidi.

Santner and his unbeaten New Zealand team’s next challenge will be against tournament hosts India in Dharamsala on Sunday.

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