After the retirement of Kiwi legend Daniel Vettori, the blackcaps were desperately looking for a similar bowler when they found out a 22 year-old Mitchell Santner who could be a like-for-like replacement for Vettori. Since making his debut in the international arena, Santner has become an integral part of the New Zealand cricketing setup.
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Mitchell Santner made his First-Class debut for Northern Districts in 2011 and since then has played for the same team in the New Zealand domestic setup. The left arm orthodox spinner had a stint in Worcestershire in 2016-17.
Having played only 19 List A matches for Northern Districts, the selectors saw the potential in him and fast-tracked him to the national side.
The gutsy all-rounder after impressing on the world stage was bought by MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings for just INR 50 lacs in the 2019 auctions. The Kiwi bowler has to be one of the most economical buys for CSK. The Kiwi allrounder, however, played only 4 matches in the 2019 season and managed to pick 4 wickets. The 2020 season is expected to be a breakout season for him as CSK will be looking to employ his services in the dusty pitches of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
Santner made his Test debut against Australia on 27 November 2015, which incidentally was the first ever day-night Test match. In the first inning, Santner scored 31 runs of 46 deliveries and even took the wicket of Josh Hazlewood by cleaning him up. In the second inning too, Santner showed his mettle with the willow and compiled a craft 45-run inng before being stumped of the bowling of Nathan Lyon.
In November 2019, while playing against England at Bay Oval, Santner scored his maiden test century. His 261-run partnership with BJ Watling became the highest ever 7th wicket partnership for New Zealand in test cricket. He also took 3 wickets in 2nd innings and became the first New Zealand spinner to take wicket on home soil since March 2018 with 101 consecutive Test wickets in 11 innings in between having all fallen to seamers.
Mitchell Santner made his ODI debut against England at Edgbaston on June 9, 2015, months after the 2015 World Cup. Kiwis were looking for a replacement for Daniel Vettori and Santner came across as the perfect like-to-like replacement. He played each of the 5 matches in that series - got 7 wickets and scored 97 runs. His first international wicket came when he dismissed Sam Billings for 3. During the fourth ODI of the series, he hit 28 runs off Adil Rashid in one over, which is the second most runs off one over ever posted in England. In May 2018, he was one of twenty players to be awarded a new contract for the 2018–19 season by New Zealand Cricket.
Santner was also selected for the 2019 World Cup where new Zealand were the runner-ups. He played 10 matches in the tournament and scored 72 runs whilst picking up 6 wickets.
Santner made his T20I debut against England on 23 June 2015 at Old Trafford. He scored 9 runs with the bat but was effective with the white ball, picking up two wickets viz. alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow. With some impressive performances in the T20I arena, Mitchell Santner was picked for the 2016 T20 Kiwi squad as a premier spin bowler along with Nathan McCullum, who was playing his last international tour. Santner was phenomenal against India as New Zealand stopped India from chasing 127, despite having a stacked batting line up. Santner picked 4 wickets which included the likes of Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Suresh Raina. Arguably, this was his best performance in the tournament and the coming years as some indifferent form and injuries meant that Santner was dropped from the team.
Santner made the international comeback against Sri Lanka on 11 January, 2019 in the only T20I between the sides.
Mitchell Santner was born on 5 Febrauary 1992 in Hamilton. The Kiwi all-rounder always wanted to be a cricketer and his bowling similarity with Daniel Vettori allowed him to be drafted into the New Zealand senior side. He is the first player to make his international debut in a day-night Test.