At the last World Cup, New Zealand's premier spinner was a tall, bespectacled left arm orthodox all rounder from Hamilton. At this World Cup, New Zealand's premier spinner is a tall, bespectacled left arm orthodox all rounder from Hamilton. However, unlike Daniel Vettori, Mitchell Santner wasn't a child prodigy and doesn't have a decade and a half's international experience under his belt.
He probably has more tricks with the ball, and is a more technically correct batsman, but Vettori's experience will be missed in the middle overs.
Santner has always been economical. In the 17 series that he's played, he's only conceded more than 5.4 runs per over in 3 of them. Nobody in the world has played more matches against top sides since the last World Cup with a better economy rate than him.
He has missed a couple of series with injury, but since returning from the enforced layoff, Santner has shown increased versatility with the ball, bowling a mixture of seam up arm balls, traditional left arm orthodox deliveries and carrom-balls.
With the bat he's had one outstanding series against England, and a few other glimpses of his ability. However, predominantly batting at number eigth, he isn't likely to get many opportunities to build an innings, so his ability at rotating the strike and scoring quickly is more important than his average.
Despite scoring at a good strike rate of roughly 90, the majority of his runs have come from ones and twos, showing how good he has been at getting off strike. This has allowed him to be in some very quick partnerships, particularly with Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee and Jimmy Neesham. Often big hitters perform better with a different type of player at the other end, and Santner fulfills that role well.
One noted weakness for Santner is his catching. He has probably dropped more catches than the rest of the side combined, and this is certainly an area that he needs to improve.