Mitchell Santner's 3 best spells against India

New Zealand v India - 1st ODI
New Zealand v India - 1st ODI [Pic Credit: Getty Images]

Owing to some terrific bowling performances, New Zealand managed to trounce Team India by 16 runs in the opening T20I of the three-match series.

The encounter was played at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi on Friday, January 27.

Defending 176 on a pitch that offered enough help for the bowlers, the Kiwi unit, under the leadership of Mitchell Santner, restricted the hosts to just 155 for 9.

While the entire bowling unit bowled utterly well in cohesion, the Kiwi skipper, with his wily left-arm spin, gave away just 11 runs in his four overs and also took two vital wickets yesterday.

Mitchell Santner bowled a fantastic spell in the 1st T20I yesterday. He was extremely economical. #INDvsNZ

After taking out Shubman Gill on the very first ball of his spell, Santner did an unthinkable feat of bowling out a maiden over to Suryakumar Yadav that too, inside the powerplay.

In his third over, he once again gave away just a single before stumping Deepak Hooda to end his brilliant spell of 4-1-11-2.

However, it wasn't the first instance of Santner weaving his magic against India in white-ball cricket. The finger spinner, who has taken 41 international wickets against India so far, has been a genuine nemesis for Team India for some years now.

On that note, let's take a look at three of Mitchell Santner's best bowling spells against the Men in Blue.

#3 3/27 in the 3rd T20I in Kolkata in 2021

Mitchell Santner celebrating a wicket against India in the 3rd T20I [Pic Credit: BCCI]
Mitchell Santner celebrating a wicket against India in the 3rd T20I [Pic Credit: BCCI]

The last time New Zealand toured India for a T20I series was in 2021, and Santner ended the rubber as the joint-highest wicket-taker with four scalps.

However, three of his four wickets came during the third T20I, which was played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

After opting to bat first on a great-looking track, Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan gave their team a fantastic start, scoring 69 runs in the first six overs.

Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi have been instrumental for the Kiwis this year🔥 #NZvsIRE | #T20WorldCup2022

New Zealand's stand-in captain for the game, Santner, then came in to bowl and turned the match around in quick fashion. He first dismissed Kishan before outdoing Suryakumar Yadav in the same over.

Santner put India under further pressure by taking Rishabh Pant's wicket in his second over and reducing the hosts from 69/0 to 83/3.

☝️ Ishan Kishan☝️ Suryakumar Yadav☝️ Rishabh PantBrilliant bowling by Mitchell Santner 👏#India #NewZealand #INDvNZ

While Santner ended his spell with a brilliant 3/27, other Kiwi bowlers were put away by the Indians as they posted a solid 184/7 in their first innings.

The visitors put up a horrid show with the bat and were bundled out for just 111 runs, losing the game by 73 runs.

#2 2/34 in the 2019 World Cup semi-final in Manchester

India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final.
India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final.

Perhaps the most hurtful match in the recent history of the Indian cricket, the first semi-final of the 50-over World Cup between the Men in Blue and New Zealand saw the latter come out as winners by 18 runs at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Defending a modest total of 221, New Zealand started the proceedings on a surreal note, reducing India to 24/4.

Rishabh Pant then came and played some shots to attempt to bring India back into the game. Santner, however, had other plans. The finger-spinner stuck to his line and length and created pressure on the southpaw, which led to his downfall.

Santner strikes! Rishabh Pant finds the hands of de Grandhomme at deep midwicket!India 71/5 after 22.5 overs, MS Dhoni joins Hardik Pandya at the crease.Ball-by-ball: report: #INDvNZ | #CWC19

A few overs later, Santner's immaculate discipline reaped him another reward in the form of Hardik Pandya, who was holed out at midwicket for 32.

The 30-year old continued to use his guile and made it almost impossible for the Indian batters to get runs off him.

In his quota of ten overs, only two boundaries were scored of Santner, who ended the game with a resounding spell of 2/34 at an economy of 3.4.

#1 Mitchell Santner 4/11 in a T20 World Cup 2016 game in Nagpur

When one thinks of Mitchell Santner's best performances with the white ball, the most obvious one to come to mind would be his match-winning 4 for 11 against India in Nagpur at the World T20 in 2016.

After opting to bat first, New Zealand could only muster 126 first-inning runs. India, boasting a formidable top eight of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, and Hardik Pandya, were clear favorites.

Wisden’s T20I spells of the decade, No.5: Mitch Santner’s 4-11 v #IND at the 2016 World T20… Read More:

However, the then-24-year-old Santner, who was playing his first T20I against India, put on a spin bowling masterclass.

Thrown the ball in the third over of the chase, with Shikhar Dhawan already back in the pavilion, Santner made an immediate impact. Within five balls, he dismissed Rohit, who got beaten by Santner’s flight and turn, and Raina, as New Zealand had India reeling at 12-3.

He returned in the 10th and struck again, this time firing a dart that snuck through Pandya’s defenses. At this point, Santner had figures of 1.3-0-3-3 and India were 42-6.

Brought off again, Santner returned with India needing a shade over 10 runs an over with arguably the greatest chaser in the history of white-ball cricket in Dhoni at the crease.

Exhibiting impressive guile, Santner belied his years smartly, making changes to his angle and pace and restricting Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin to just four singles off India’s 14th over.

With the game realistically out of India’s reach, Santner returned in the 18th over. After being punished by Dhoni for a rare six, Santner had his man courtesy of a fine Nathan McCullum catch three balls later. He finished with 4-0-11-4—the third-best figures of the tournament.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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