3 reasons why Mitchell Santner must be undroppable from the CSK XI for the remainder of IPL 2024

Mitchell Santner celebrates taking the wicket of Shashank Singh during PBKS vs CSK IPL 2024 game at Dharamshala
Mitchell Santner celebrates taking the wicket of Shashank Singh during PBKS vs CSK IPL 2024 game at Dharamshala

When Mitchell Santner made his way into the Chennai Super Kings’ playing XI for the game against the Punjab Kings (PBKS), it felt like it had been ages seeing the all-rounder don the yellow outfit. After being underutilized in the 2023 edition, almost every fan had been waiting for the New Zealander to get a game in the 2024 edition.

Santer finally got his first game of IPL 2024 when CSK took on PBKS in Dharamsala on Sunday, May 5. While it looked like a forced change to the playing XI, that sure did wonders for the defending champions who are working hard to find themselves a spot in the top four.

In his first game of IPL 2024, Santner was phenomenal with the ball, conceding just 10 runs in three overs while also getting the prized wicket of the in-form Shashank Singh. Though he couldn’t contribute much with the bat, scoring a run-a-ball 11, not much was on offer for the batters at the said venue.

Fans would hope for CSK to stick to the same XI and not make any further changes to carry the momentum forward in the remaining three league games. The five-time champions have had a topsy-turvy campaign this year, having lost five of the 11 games played thus far.

To secure their place in the playoffs, CSK must not drop a single match in the remainder of the league stage, and constant changes to the XI might affect their momentum. Santner’s addition to the playing XI has been beneficial for the Men in Yellow, and they must stick with him further too.

On that note, here are three reasons why Mitchell Santner must not be dropped from CSK’s XI for the remainder of IPL 2024.

#3 Handy batter down the order

Which team wouldn’t want a player who could get the crucial wickets for the team and also add important runs to the scorecard? CSK have Santner, who possesses those abilities, and they must make the most of the provided chance.

Santner, call him a blessing in disguise, has time and again proved his worth with the bat while walking into the crease down the order. CSK’s middle-order has not fired off late, with Shivam Dube being dismissed for ducks in the past two games, and the team’s top-order has been inconsistent too.

In such a situation, players like Santner and Ravindra Jadeja can pull the team out of misery on their day. The Indian all-rounder has been on and off this season, but one can not count him out. Santner too is one such player who can score the big runs for the team on his day.

#2 Proven match-winner

Mitchell Santner scored the winning run for CSK on the last ball of the match against RR in IPL 2019.
Mitchell Santner scored the winning run for CSK on the last ball of the match against RR in IPL 2019.

If you’re a CSK fan, you must be aware of the heroics that Santner pulled off against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 2019 edition of the tournament. It was the game when the world witnessed the not-so-cool side of the then-skipper MS Dhoni.

It was this game where Santner, alongside Ravindra Jadeja, pulled off the 152-run chase on the final delivery of the match by tackling the bowlers brilliantly in the death overs. Though Santner hasn’t gotten much opportunity to shine in IPL, he has been a proven match-winner for New Zealand.

He has handled the pressure really well and led the Blackcaps from the front as a true leader in the shortest format. Moreover, he is an economical bowler and his experience adds a lot to the somewhat-struggling CSK side.

#1 Dependable spin option for upcoming home and away games

Mitchell Santner’s prowess with the ball is known to all. Even if he fails to pick up wickets, he keeps the batters in check and makes sure that he doesn’t leak runs in crunch situations. Of the three remaining games, CSK are to play their last home match of the league stage against the in-form RR.

CSK’s next three matches are scheduled to be played in Ahmedabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru, and spinners will play a key role here. While one is aware of Chepauk’s tendency to aid spinners, CSK must also keep in mind the opposition batters’ ability to tackle spinners.

The pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where CSK will face Gujarat Titans next, also tends to support spinners, as has been seen in the past games. After the GT chapter, CSK will host RR at Chepauk, one of the favorite venues for spinners.

The Ruturaj Gaikwad-led side will lastly face the Faf du Plessis-led team at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, where the shorter boundaries act as the spinners’ weapon. Additionally, deploying a spinner against Virat Kohli would be something that CSK would want to try.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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