New Zealand cricketer Mitchell Santner drew the inspiration to add carrom ball variation in his spin from Ravichandran Ashwin. He saw Team India’s spinner enjoying the success with the carrom ball against Kiwi in 2016 and then, he decided to make that technique his own.
Mitchell Santner has developed his version of the carrom ball named “claw”. He first time dismissed Pakistan opener, Fakhar Zaman, with delivery in that style during a one-day international match on January 16, 2018. He is believed to be the first left-handed spin bowler to have used that method in international cricket. Since then, he has been successfully using that technique and his action remains a mystery.
After getting influenced by Ashwin, Santner tried it many times and it worked out well for him.
Mystery ball ‘claw’ from Mitchell Santner
The 28-year-old further said that when a left-handed batsman bats in New Zealand, the bowler needs to make the ball go the other way. So, the ‘Claw’ helps him there.
“I remember we were in India for the Test series in 2016, and [R] Ashwin bowled a few carrom balls and I think he got [Neil] Wagner out with a couple.
“I just felt like in New Zealand, when a left-hander comes in, you need to be able to make the ball go the other way – something different. I thought I could bring that out and it actually worked pretty well at that time,” he said.
Throughout the World Cup, I had a sore middle finger: Mitchell Santner
The left-arm spinner conceded that he was not able to utilize the ‘claw’ variation during the 2019 World Cup due to his swollen finger. It did not allow him to flick it out; however, revealed that he is going to bring it out this year.
“Throughout the World Cup, I had a sore middle finger. It was quite swollen, so I couldn’t flick it out and had to put it [the Claw] away. I’m definitely going to bring it out this year,” Santner remarked.
Mitchell Santner has not found success in Test cricket but has cemented his place in the white-ball format. He has played 72 ODIs and 44 T20Is.