Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Rant 1: Mitchell Santner

How is it that a bowler can get through to international cricket with such a flaw as Mitchell Santner's non-existant front arm?

Quoting respected spin-bowling coach Ashley Mallet,
  • "Stay tall through the crease, keeping the front leg straight and the leading arm high.
  • Spend as much time on the front leg as possible, and use an up-and-over action to generate the energy required to spin the ball."
  • A strong use of the leading, or non-bowling, arm has long been advocated for pace bowlers, but according to Terry Jenner and Ashley Mallett, it is just as important for spin bowlers.
 Have any of the New Zealand high-performance bowling coaches tried to correct this flaw? Do they even recognise it as a flaw?

Mitchell Santner's stats are not so impressive that he can afford to proceed with such a major flaw in his action. A test bowling average of around 39 is nothing to crow about. He needs to re-model his action in the off-season to ensure that he has the best tools in his bowling armoury as he goes forward with his international career.

New Zealand is weak in international spin bowling resources. Test bowling averages of 46.52 (Mark Craig), 46.68 (Ish Sodhi), 47.82 (Jeetan Patel), and 39.70 (Santner) don't cut it at Test level. Perhaps NZ Cricket could help our spinners by drafting in a specialist spin coach to work with the above-mentioned quartet in the off-season. Although it is probably too late for Patel because of his age, the other three have plenty of years left in them.