New Zealand’s left-arm spin all-rounder Mitchell Santner believes their nothing-to-lose mentality is what propelled him and Michael Bracewell to give the Indian team a mighty scare in the ODI series opener at Hyderabad.
New Zealand were left to chase 350 after opener Shubman Gill smashed 208 off 149 balls, laced with 19 fours and nine sixes, to become the youngest double-centurion in men’s ODI cricket.
The visitors were in trouble at 131/6, and from there, Santner and Bracewell starred with the bat, sharing a mammoth 162-run seventh-wicket partnership off just 102 balls. But eventually, both were out at the fag end of the chase, as New Zealand were all out for 337, falling short of the target by 12 runs to be 1-0 behind in the three-match series.
“It (New Zealand’s mentality) was we’ve kind of got nothing to lose here. Just played some shots, keep looking straight and then yeah, Beasty (Bracewell) got a few away and I was happy enough just to knock it around and give him the strike and watch him down the other end,” said Santner on SENZ Breakfast show.
While Bracewell made a whirlwind 140 off 78 balls, hitting 12 fours and ten sixes, Santner made 57 off 45 balls. “But we did the closer we got the more we were thinking that you know, these guys are going to miss them more now they’re under pressure.”
“I mean, if I was there at the end with Beast it might have been maybe a touch closer but yeah I mean he just kind of kept going and kept hitting it over the rope which was cool to see,” he added.
New Zealand entered the ODI series against India after grabbing a 2-1 victory in the 50-over series in Pakistan earlier in the month. Santner pointed out that the transition to different conditions and a greater atmosphere was a challenge for his New Zealand teammates.
“It was obviously a bit of a change. Those kinds of low, slow wickets in Pakistan, I kind of wish they were (the same) here but it was pretty flat and had good pace and good bounce.”
“Obviously in the thick of it with 50,000 people on top of you it was pretty loud but yeah, it’s always enjoyable playing here in front of this many people.”
“They just love it, it was incredibly loud and you kind of forget, coming back, how loud it is. You’ve really got to keep eyes on the skip because you can’t hear anything else.”
New Zealand will now aim to level the series against India in the second ODI at Raipur on Saturday.