Ahead of the ODI series against India, New Zealand’s left-arm off spinner Mitchell Santner has admitted that hard-hitting all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be a threat but he has his plans ready for him. In a recent interview, Santner revealed that he will try to maintain a good length while bowling to Pandya and restrict him to just taking singles. How far this plan works out can only be found out once the series begins.
In an interview with TOI, Santner spoke on the threat that Pandya possesses and said, “He’s a very good striker. He tends to hit down the ground well. I guess the key is to take the length off him, and maybe be happy with singles. He’s a very good player and can hit (big). I saw him hit Zampa for three sixes in an over (during the first ODI against Australia at Chennai). Once he hits one, he wants to keep going. If you can tie him down or make him hit singles, and then go from there and hopefully he tries to play a big shot and go for a ball that’s not quite there… but yeah, he’s a very good striker (of the ball). So we have to beware (of him),”
“Revealing that he has observed the duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel to learn a few tricks, Santner said, “On wickets that offer a little bit, I watched a lot of Axar Patel and Jadeja. They just try to bowl very consistent and good areas and wait for the batsmen to hit a big shot and get out or run past one. I’ve taken a little bit of footage from there,” he said.
It’s tough bowling in India. They are very good players of spin. They’ve grown up playing spin. I just try to keep it pretty simple… try and keep the ball off them… bowl the ball reasonably quick on the surface and force the batsmen to make a mistake. If you get a few dots and build pressure that way, you can hopefully get a few wickets. That’s what I’ll be trying to do,” he concluded.