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Top 3 New Zealand Spinners With Most Wickets In A World Cup Edition

image-lor68zxtMitchell Santner has been prolific in World Cup 2023 (Twitter)

In the high-stakes environment of the ICC World Cup, matching a record set by a legendary predecessor is a significant achievement. New Zealand spinner, Mitchell Santner did just that in World Cup 2023.

In a vital do-or-die league match against Sri Lanka at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Santner's skills with the ball shone brightly as he equalled Daniel Vettori's record for the most wickets taken by a New Zealand spinner in a single World Cup edition.

He dismissed Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva, and his twin strikes were not just crucial in the context of the match but also lifted him to a tally of 16 wickets, aligning his name alongside Vettori's accomplishment from the World Cup 2007.

Here's a look at the top three New Zealand spinners with most wickets in a World Cup edition.

1. Daniel Vettori: 16 Wickets - World Cup 2007

Vettori's exploits in the World Cup 2007 firmly established him as one of the premier spinners of his era. His 16 wickets across 10 matches were not just about volume but also about the timing and the impact they had on the games. Vettori's bowling was characterized by his exceptional control and his ability to deceive batsmen with subtle variations in flight, speed, and spin. Unlike many traditional spinners, he often bowled a flatter trajectory, which, combined with his natural variation, made him difficult to score off. 

image-lor6evhaDaniel Vettori (Twitter)

His intelligence on the field was evident in his ability to out-think batsmen, often setting them up over several deliveries. His best figures of 4/23 in the tournament highlighted his skill in crucial moments. Beyond his bowling, Vettori was also a capable lower-order batsman, adding depth to the New Zealand batting lineup. His leadership qualities, and calm demeanour contributed significantly to his team's performance in the tournament.

2. Mitchell Santner: 16 Wickets - World Cup 2023

Santner, in the World Cup 2023, has shown why he is regarded as a worthy successor to Vettori. His 16 wickets in 9 matches, at an average of 24.88 and an economy rate of 4.85, are proof of his skill and consistency. Santner's best performance of 5/59 in the tournament vs the Netherlands showcased his ability to take wickets in key moments. His bowling style is a combination of precision and variation. 

image-lor6edwjMitchell Santner (Twitter)

Known for his accuracy and ability to bowl tight lines, Santner can keep the batsmen guessing with his arm ball and subtle changes in pace. His effectiveness in the middle overs, often slowing down the run rate and building pressure, has been a crucial factor in his success. Santner is also a competent lower-middle-order batsman, capable of contributing valuable runs, which adds another dimension to his game. His fielding is another asset, often saving crucial runs in the field and taking some mind-boggling catches.

3. Daniel Vettori: 15 Wickets - World Cup 2015

In the World Cup 2015, Daniel Vettori, despite being in the twilight of his career, was a key figure in New Zealand's journey to the finals. His 15 wickets in 9 matches at an average of 20.47 and an economy rate of 4.05 underlined his class. Vettori's ability to adapt his style over the years was evident in this tournament. He focused more on accuracy and subtle variations in spin, rather than relying on turn. 

image-lor6dy4tDaniel Vettori (Twitter)

His experience allowed him to read the game and the batsmen better, often outsmarting them with his mind. His best figures of 4/18 vs Afghanistan were a masterclass in spin bowling. Vettori's role was not just confined to his bowling; his experience and guidance were invaluable to the younger members of the squad. His batting, though less prominent than in his earlier years, still provided solidity to the lower order.