Mitch Santner shows long-term quality in Blackcaps debut

Mitchell Santner will go down in history as the only cricketer to make his Test debut in the first ever day/night Test match.

It was the first time Test cricket, known as the “purest” form of the game, has taken place under lights. It is a new innovation for the game, TV ratings focused, and it took place on the same day as World Series cricket was first rolled out all those years ago.

In the background of all the hype was a young spin-bowling all-rounder by the name of Mitchell Santner, and he was about to become New Zealand’s newest debutant.

A lot of youngsters fresh out of college would crumble under the pressure of such an occasion, but Santner showed poise and talent with both bat and ball.

Santner’s quality as a cricketer is only going to improve.

Satner’s score of 31 proved he was one of New Zealand’s better batsmen of the day, even showing up his captain Brendon McCullum. One can’t help but wonder how many more runs Santner would have scored if not for being dismissed by a suburb delivery by Australian quick Mitch Starc.

Late in the day, Santner was New Zealand’s first spin change.

Tidy in the few overs he bowled, Satner has a very noticeable difference to a lot of spinners in his action, the right arm doesn’t do much, but the control of the ball out of the left arm is immaculate.

Santner has been in and around the Blackcaps picture for a season or so now and has repaid the faith of his selection with an impressive beginning to his Test debut.

Santner will be looked at to make the ball turn in the Adelaide sun on day two.

Guptill’s test selection thoroughly deserved

Martin Guptill’s return to test cricket will, and should be watched with great interest during the upcoming English tour.

Martin-Guptill-007

Guptill has been absent from the test arena for the past couple of seasons.

The Blackcaps selectors have experimented with Hamish Rutherford, Peter Fulton, and Tom Latham as the top of the order.

All of those batsmen performed well, but Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson says that Guptill can cover a “variety” of batting positions in the test matches.

In his test career, Guptill has two centuries with a highest score of 189 and an average just under 30.

Being the leading run scorer in the Cricket World Cup was always going to begin conversations on Guptill’s return to test cricket, and the Blackcaps selectors haven’t waited on making a decision that some of Guptill’s critics would call a gamble.

While Guptill is clearly a much better batsman in ODI cricket, his career is still young in the test arena and this is an opportunity that the Blackcaps opener has never been in a better position to take advantage of.