After the Day 3 Stumps of the first Test against South Africa, New Zealand’s star spinner Mitchell Santner, who is playing his second Test in more than two-and-a-half years, spoke of the changes he has made in his bowling in the longest format.
Day three of the Mount Maunganui Test against South Africa saw New Zealand take dominance, leading by 528 runs in the second innings. This came after South Africa were bowled out for 162 in the first innings, with Santner taking 3 for 34. Santner’s performance, combined with Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson’s, gave the hosts a commanding 349-run advantage in the first innings.
“I felt like I was getting too quick at the crease, and getting a bit long. It was through, I guess, a lot of white-ball bowling. But I’ve gone the other way now: tried to give it a rip again, and [go a] little bit slow at the crease and get my momentum from the crease. That’s what I tried to do at the World Cup… and it has flown into my red-ball bowling,” said Santner as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
“Usually in the home summer, it is one spinner or that kind of allrounder role. But looking forward, it’s nice to have a consistent Test series in the sub-continent – I think we’ve got six games. So, it’ll be nice to go there as a spin unit and ply our crafts. Bangladesh [series last year] was good; we spoke a lot, [and had] good chats… it’ll be a good opportunity to get stuck in and bowl some overs [in the sub-continent],” Santner said.
Santner spotted a considerable turn on the Mount Maunganui field and anticipated things to settle down as the game progressed.
“Usually in the first innings, when it’s flat, you do a role – [bowl] on a good length – and let the other boys do their thing at the other end. It is nice to see it turn a little bit: we can play around with the position at the crease, [with the] seam, [and] a slight change of pace. Mount is traditionally slower than where we are going to now,” he said.
“Here I can enjoy the pitch, which is nice… it might do a little bit more tomorrow. Day five maybe a little bit more, but it usually slows down a lot in nature, where it is more of a grind to get your wickets,” Santner added. -ANI