Mitchell Santner, a bowling all-rounder from New Zealand, claimed that the team maintained a “nothing to lose” attitude during their incredible comeback against India in the first ODI in Hyderabad on January 18. Santner claimed he was content to hang it up and let Michael Bracewell do most of the damage.
With New Zealand needing an additional 219 runs with just four wickets remaining in 21 overs after the departure of acting captain Tom Latham, Santner and Bracewell joined forces in the 29th over.
However, the pair’s 162-run combination gives the visitors a real chance to cross the 350-run target. India managed to win by just 12 runs, maintaining their tenacity.
Mitchell Santner shares his strategy when partnering with Michael Bracewell
Mitchell Santner, who scored 57 off 45 balls, told SenZ Breakfast that if he had stuck with Bracewell at the end, things would have turned out differently (140 from 78 balls). He acknowledged how Bracewell’s powerful hitting put India under pressure, saying:
“It was – we have nothing to lose here. Just played some shots, kept looking straight and then yeah, Beastie (Bracewell) went some distance and I was happy enough to just knock it off and give him a strike and see him on the other end.
“I mean, if I’d been there at the end with Beast it might have been a touch closer but yeah I mean he just kind of kept going and hit the ropes which was great to see.”
Bracewell became the second fastest Indian to reach 100 runs in 57 deliveries. He reached three figures by hitting a six off the bowling of Mohammad Shami at long-on. The southpaw also hit a six off the first ball of the last over, but perished on the second ball as the visitors were bowled out for 337 and needed 20 runs from the remaining over.
Mitchell Santner enjoyed playing in front of a huge crowd
Santner said he loved batting in front of a raucous crowd in Hyderabad and pointed out how different the conditions there were from Pakistan. He added:
“Pakistan’s kind of low, slow wicket, I wish they had the same here but it was pretty flat and had good pace and good bounce. Obviously, it was pretty loud with 50,000 people on top of you but yeah, it’s always enjoyable to play in front of that many people here.
“They just loved it, it was incredibly loud and you forget, coming back, how loud it is. You really have to keep an eye on the skip because you can’t hear anything else.”
When New Zealand and India meet in the second one-day international in Raipur on Saturday, January 21, they will be looking to even the three-match series.