Santner gets coach seal of approval

10 November 2017 07:19:05 EST

A solid tour of India has put Mitchell Santner in line to be New Zealand's preferred spin option in the Test series against West Indies.

Santner didn't play in the last Test series against South Africa, with the Black Caps using Jeetan Patel as their spinner.

Patel's retirement leaves Santner as the first-choice and he has the chance to establish himself as an all-rounder over the summer.

The Black Caps returned from India reasonably happy with their form on tour, having lost both the ODI and Twenty20 series deciders by six runs.

The latter defeat cost Mike Hesson's side their world No 1 ranking, but now they'll put that behind them and switch their attentions to the two-Test series against West Indies starting in Wellington on 1st December.

Santner played in all six games, taking at least one wicket in each of the one-dayers, while averaging 34 with the bat.

Speaking of the 25-year-old left-armer, Hesson said: "He's been a regular and really important member of our test squad and made some very good contributions.

"I'm really pleased with the way he came on with the bat on this tour; it's an area we've asked him to step up in. We know he's got plenty of talent with the bat and last year didn't show as much as we know he can."

From 15 Tests Santner averages 26 with the bat and has 31 wickets at 39. He's unlikely to be used too much on grassy December pitches in Wellington and Hamilton but with the bat at No 7, with BJ Watling and Colin de Grandhomme either side, Santner can show his worth.

New Zealand are 7/1 to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The Black Caps are 6/1 to win the 2020 Twenty20 World Cup.

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