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Mitchell Santner credits surface for early breakthroughs in big win over India

image-ldevio57NZ players celebrate a wicket in first T20I (Source: Twitter/BCCI)

Mitchell Santner led New Zealand to their first victory of the 2023 India tour by defeating the hosts in the first T20I. The all-rounder himself scored crucial runs in the death overs before striking twice with the ball during the Indian run-chase.

After the match, Santner credited the pitch for providing early spin in the Indian innings. He also praised India’s Suryakumar Yadav for providing a run-chase scare through his counterattacking 47.

Mitchell Santner says he was surprised to see early spin

The New Zealand skipper stated that the ball spun well during the second innings of the match, which resulted in the fall of three early Indian wickets. The cricketer added that he did not believed his side’s 176-run total was a safe one at first, considering the strong batting line-up of the hosts.

Santner also claimed that he thought the Ranchi’s JSCA Stadium was ideal for the chasing side and his team was going to face a stiff challenge in containing India’s response. He said:

“Yeah, the ball spun well in the 2nd innings. It was nice to see the ball spinning a bit more. I don't think we're safe with 170 at the first. Surya batted well. We thought that we needed to have 180 with the power India have in their batting,

“It was a shock to us as well. We're about to bowl in the toss. We thought this ground was for chasing. Yeah, it's always a challenge. We know the ball was spinning in the powerplay and when it was harder, it was doing a lot. It was good for us, for the guys to chip up with the wickets inside the powerplay.”

Owing to New Zealand’s early lead, they now have a chance of sealing the series early and end their India tour on a high. Earlier, they suffered a 0-3 whitewash in the ODI series, despite conquering Pakistan in the format just a week prior to their Indian challenge.

Santner and co. will now face the hosts in the second T20I of the series on January 29 in Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium.

Also Read: Hardik Pandya laments death bowling over T20I defeat, expresses surprise over pitch