Chennai Super Kings is one of the most successful franchises of the Indian Premier League so far. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the helm, CSK have won three trophies in the last 12 seasons. Playing for CSK is considered to be a matter of great privilege especially with some of the who’s who of the cricket world. For young cricketers, it is a chance to learn from some of the best cricketing minds such as MS Dhoni, Stephen Fleming, and Michael Hussey.
In a recent interaction, Mitchell Santner, who is a part of the franchise opened up on his time with CSK, said that that the IPL is one of the best T20 tournaments in the world. “Yeah, the IPL, I guess, is the pinnacle of all T20 tournaments and I was pretty excited when I was picked up [in 2018],” the New Zealand spinner told ESPNCricinfo.
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“There are some world-class spinners in Chennai to talk to and play with – guys like Harbhajan [Singh], who I’ve watched a lot of, [Ravindra] Jadeja and Imran Tahir as well,” Santner added.
“When I got injured the first year , I was pretty disappointed, but I was given the opportunity last time around to go and experience it. It’s an unbelievable tournament and definitely the best cricket going around in terms of T20 leagues. It was nice to bowl on different pitches to New Zealand,” he further said.
Santner went on to add that it was a great experience for him to share dressing rooms with MS Dhoni. “I’ve played against MS [Dhoni] a lot, so to share a dressing room with him and talk to him about how he goes about things was awesome. Even guys like Suresh Raina – you watched him from other teams you go with,” he said.
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Santner’s debut game for CSK last year was at Chepauk against Rajasthan Royals and he was struck for 26 runs in 2 overs. Even though Chennai won the game, Santner admitted that it was a tough game for him.
“Yeah, that was a tough game. We finished quite late in the New Zealand summer and had to shoot over a day or two before the first game, so we didn’t get to experience [the dew] until the game,” he said.
“It was a challenge – we don’t have much of it in New Zealand. I felt like I was bowling at almost my toes and it still came out quite full. But after that we trained, putting some water on the ball, putting them in a bucket, and learnt to deal with it. After that, it wasn’t probably as bad as that,” he further added.