Worcestershire Head Coach Alan Richardson says having “three-dimensional” cricketers in Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell will boost the Rapids’ bid for Vitality Blast glory this summer.
The New Zealand international duo have been brought in as the Rapids’ two overseas players for the T20 competition, which gets underway in May.
They will bolster a spin department which already includes Club Captain and leg spinner Brett D’Oliveira, and slow left-arm spinner Josh Baker.
But the duo have also demonstrated their capabilities with the bat at international and domestic levels this winter and are also outstanding fielders.
Richardson said: “We know the quality and experience that Mitchell Santner provides. I wasn’t here when he was here (in 2016 and 2017), but the boys talk really highly of him.
“Obviously, his displays in international cricket and the IPL speak for themselves, and he has developed himself into a crucial member of any T20 side he plays in.
“He is a three-dimensional player, offers us something with the bat, gives us a nice balance as a left-hander, a very skilful left-arm spinner, and great in the field, and has captained New Zealand a little bit in their white ball cricket.
“Just gives us that experience, real expertise, so it felt like a no-brainer for us to sign him.
“Michael Bracewell is someone we’d had on our radar for a little while. The analyst pointed him out to me a couple of years ago.
“Over the last couple of years, his white-ball experiences have been exceptional, certainly in the Super Smash in New Zealand.
“He has found a real niche as a left-hander batter. We don’t have that many in the squad, so again, that was quite important for us.
“Again, a three-dimensional player, so he will offer us some really valuable skills by bowling some off-spin, being an outstanding fielder and a dynamic white ball batter who predominantly will bat high up the order for us but has shown he is quite versatile in the order as well.”
The recruitment of two spinners for the Blast is in contrast to how they were viewed when T20 cricket was first introduced in 2003.
Richardson admitted: “When we started T20 cricket 20 years, it was thought spinners were going to be absolute fodder.
“They have actually worked out to be incredibly valuable members of any side they are in.”
Worcestershire will launch their pre-season programme with a couple of T20 matches against Gloucestershire at Bristol next Monday (March 20).