If wrist-spinners dominate white-ball cricket presently, orthodox finger-spinners have continued to excel in red-ball cricket.
The two greatest examples are India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Australia’s Nathan Lyon, who have been on a wicket-talking spree in the last few years.
Now, fellow finger-spinner, New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner has revealed how he learnt a trick of the trade from Ashwin during the 2016 India tour.
In the three-match Test series, India whitewashed the Kiwis by 3-nil. During the series, Ashwin managed to pick up the wicket of Neil Wagner twice with his carrom ball.
“I remember we were in India for the Test series in 2016, and [R] Ashwin bowled a few carrom 1balls and I think he got [Neil] Wagner out with a couple,” Santner told EspnCricinfo.
“I just felt like in New Zealand, when a left-hander comes in, you need to be able to make the ball go the other way – something different. I thought I could bring that out and it actually worked pretty well at that time,” the all-rounder added.
Then, Santner was asked about the latest mystery weapon in his ammunition named the ‘claw’. Moreover, the wily tweaker conceded that he couldn’t use the ‘claw’ during the 2019 ODI World Cup due to a finger injury.
“Throughout the World Cup, I had a sore middle finger. It was quite swollen, so I couldn’t flick it out and had to put it [the Claw] away. I’m definitely going to bring it out this year,” the 28-year-old said.
“It’s one of those where you have to keep bowling it because you’re flicking it out. For me, throughout the winter, it’s about bowling it the best way I can and try to disguise it better. The way I bowl, my fingers kind of stick up, so it’s noticeable for the batsmen. So disguising it better is something I’ll work on this winter,” Santner concluded.