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Santner on T20 World Cup prep: It's been a chaotic kind of start

New Zealand opted against warm-up matches because of the staggered arrival of their players

Mitchell Santner got rid of Towhid Hridoy, New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 1st T20I, Napier, December 27, 2023

Mitchell Santner has played 100 T20Is for New Zealand  •  Getty Images

Mitchell Santner conceded that New Zealand have had a "chaotic start" to the T20 World Cup 2024. The team opted for extra training sessions instead of an official warm-up game due to logistics issues, with players arriving in three batches because of IPL commitments. However, after a few days of training in Trinidad, Santner said New Zealand can "really settle in" now, having moved to Guyana, where they will be playing their opening group match against Afghanistan on June 8.
"It's been a chaotic kind of start with people coming in at different times," Santner said. "It was nice to get home for a few days before travelling with the team to come over here, had a nice little time in Trinidad. One training kind of got rained out. But we are here now in Guyana, a good week or so to get some good prep done for our first game.
"They always put on a good party in the West Indies. I guess not having any warm-up games and guys coming in at different times, it kind of felt a little distorted. We are here in Guyana, we can really settle in with the tournament starting tomorrow. We can watch a little bit of start and then see what the pitches are going to do, especially in Guyana, and do our prep accordingly for our first game."
The World Cup is being played across nine venues - in the Caribbean and the USA - with New Zealand scheduled to play one of their Group C matches in Guyana and three in Tarouba. Up against opponents such as Uganda and Papua New Guinea, apart from West Indies and Afghanistan, Santner felt there was a little bit of the "unknown" about the competition.
"It's obviously good to watch [the first few games]. I think that's going to be a common theme in the World Cup, you know, different places will play very differently," he said. "Traditionally, Guyana can be a little bit slow and Trinidad can be pretty good. America is going to be different. So teams have to assess and adapt quickly throughout the whole tournament.
"It's going to be massive. There is a little bit of an unknown with some of these teams. We obviously know what West Indies are capable of doing, but we are not really sure of the other guys. There will be a bit of prep going into each game, scouting, video stuff of what we can get and we just have to stick to what we want to do throughout the whole tournament - every game assess, adapt and the things we talk about leading into each game which is going to be massive."
That apart, New Zealand are relying on their experienced players, including Kane Williamson, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, and Ish Sodhi who have played in the Caribbean Premier League, to pool in the knowledge of the conditions.
"As a squad, we have guys who played a lot," Santner said, "And then there are few guys who know these conditions. Glenn has played a lot of CPL and a few other boys as well. Channelling that kind of information is going to be big to hit the ground running."