Mitchell Santner is one of the very few cricketers who have played under the leadership of MS Dhoni as well as Kane Williamson. The two prolific skippers are known for their leadership skills and their on-field approach. Recently, Santner drew out similarities between both the captains and compared their captaincy styles.
Santner, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said playing under MS Dhoni has helped him learn about the game better. According to the Kiwi all-rounder, Dhoni is a ‘very instinctive’ captain. However, Williamson, on the other hand, has his set plans but never lets the situation get the better of him.
Speaking to sports producer Rupha Ramani on an Instagram live session with CSK, Santner revealed that Dhoni is certainly chattier as compared to Williamson as the Indian veteran’s position is behind the stumps.
“The more you get to play against players, you get that feel. You might think ‘Dhoni, why are you doing that?’ And then it works, more often than not,” said Santner
“I think Kane is very similar when it comes to how he portrays himself on the field. He doesn’t get heated up in the battle and has set plans and executes them,” he added.
“I think they are very similar in the way they conduct themselves on the field. They try to be very calm and relaxed. Dhoni is very instinctive with his decisions. He just has slight changes of field and changes in bowling and stuff,” said the Kiwi all-rounder.
Mitchell Santner was bought by CSK in IPL 2018 auction
Santner further said, “It’s got to be MS (chattier captain) because he is behind the stumps. He has got to get into the batsman’s head. Whereas Kane hides at mid-off and talks to the bowlers.”
Santner was snapped up by CSK for INR 50 lakh in the IPL 2018 auction. However, due to an injury, the New Zealander did not don the CSK jersey in that season. Santner was a part of the Dhoni-led side in IPL 2019 where he played four matches in the season.
Santner also said the IPL stint has helped him break preconceived notions about players and he has tried to emulate Dhoni’s ‘calm’ on-field approach.
“When you play with guys who’ve played against, they look different. You get to understand them more. l always wanted to play with guys like Dhoni. Playing for New Zealand, I have played India a lot, home and away. Just the way he kind of goes about his business is calm and relaxed.”
“I obviously tried to do something similar. And then you get to speak to those guys, it’s all such a good learning space for growing your game,” Santner said.