Mitchell Josef Santner
February 05, 1992, Hamilton
Left hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
A left-handed batsman and left-arm spinner, Mitchell Santner was first elevated to the New Zealand side after a promising 2014-15 domestic season.
He was named in the one-day squad for the tour of England following the retirement of Daniel Vettori after the World Cup as New Zealand searched for another left-arm spin option. Santner was in to cover for the absence of the players at the IPL but made an immediate impression with a well-crafted 94 in a tour game against Somerset. He was handed his ODI debut at Edgbaston having played just 19 List A matches for Northern Districts. "It's nice to have a left-arm spinner who turns," was a quip from the New Zealand camp.
He made his Test debut later that year in the first ever day-night Test against Australia in Adelaide and made 31 and 45 batting at No.6 in both innings in a low-scoring game. He also took two wickets. Over the next four years his Test opportunities were limited but he became a mainstay in the white-ball teams for the Black Caps.
His performances were so impressive that he was bought by the Chennai Super Kings in 2019 IPL to play under Stephen Fleming. He won a game by hitting a six off the last ball of the match against Rajasthan and took 2 for 13 from 4 overs in the IPL final against Mumbai, including the prized scalp of Rohit Sharma.
His experience in that cauldron held him in good stead for the 2019 World Cup in England. He bowled a clutch spell in the semi-final win over India, strangling their middle order to help secure a spot in the final against England.
Later in the same year he recorded a maiden Test century during an epic partnership with BJ Watling. The 261 they added was New Zealand's highest seventh-wicket stand in history and helped their side to 615-9, their highest Test total against England. The three wickets he claimed in England's second-innings also constituted new Test-best figures and helped New Zealand to a crushing innings victory.
Batting & Fielding