Mitchell Santner’s performance was a huge positive for us: Kane Williamson
After dominating the opening two days, New Zealand failed to continue the momentum from the third day and lost the Test by a huge margin of 197 runs. Mitchell Santner was probably the only positive for New Zealand in an otherwise dismal outing in the first Test against India in Kanpur. Santner played fighting knocks of 32 and 71 against the dominating Indian spinners and took five wickets. Interacting with the media after the match ended, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson heaped lavish praise on the allrounder and spoke on various topics.
On Mitchell Santner’s performance:
He played outstandingly well. It’s his first time in this part of the world playing Test cricket and it was a great step in the right direction for his game. We all know he has got the talent with bat and ball and in the field, to apply himself like he did and bowl a number of overs and be successful was very good against good players of spin. It was a huge positive for us. He’ll look forward to the next one and I’m sure he’s learned a lot from this experience.
On the positives from the match:
There were a lot of positives for us. Guys who hadn’t played here before spent some valuable time in the middle and made some valuable contributions. Mitch Santner for one and Luke Ronchi another who certainly showed they had the skill-sets to perform well in these conditions. It is a challenge against a very good attack but they’ve got the skill-sets and it’s being able to stick to it for a lot longer. That is the same with the ball for our young spin attack who are extremely talented. Being over here in these hot conditions, being able to remain focused for a long period because you know if you put the ball in the area for long enough, you’ll get your rewards. That’s what the Indian team showed us.
On the huge defeat:
On the scorecard, it looks like a biggish defeat but there were a couple of moments that I would reflect on as where the game turned slightly more in their favour. The back end of our first innings with the bat and certainly when we bowled in the second innings there was probably a three-hour period where we didn’t bowl very well and they got away from us. It’s a combination of us not quite being at our best at certain times and they played very well. They were pretty good balls, and he is a pretty good bowler. In these conditions, there is certainly more spin so you do take those things into account. The nature of the conditions later on in the game you tend to get some good deliveries. It is part and parcel of playing here and we have to adapt our games to be better equipped going into the next match,” he said.
On Jeetan Patel replacing the injured Mark Craig:
For Jeetan to come into the squad after a period of time away from the team is a great opportunity for him. He’s been a quality performer for a long period of time and it is that like-for-like swap as well. Jeets loves the game of cricket and loves playing for his country. It was perhaps unexpected. He has played a lot in England lately and almost considers himself a local in that part of the world but we know he’s not and we are looking forward to having him back in the side.There are a number of other players from Wellington in the side who have spent a lot of time with Jeets and they’re all very excited about it. He is looking forward to coming back and making an impact.
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