Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Rhodes Looking Forward To Santner T20 Blast Debut

Rhodes Looking Forward To Santner T20 Blast Debut

Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes says he knows Mitchell Santner has already fitted into the Worcestershire Rapids dressing room – because he is getting plenty of stick from his team-mates!

Santner is poised to make his NatWest T20 Blast debut for the Rapids in tomorrow evening's home North Group clash with Durham Jets (5,30pm start).

The New Zealand all-rounder was one of the stars of the recent ICC World T20 in India and Rhodes is relishing the chance to see him in action for the Rapids.

He said: "Mitch has fitted into the dressing room like Matt Henry has terrifically. You always know when someone has fitted in well when the rest of the side give him a lot of banter and stick.

"I've noticed that yesterday. Mitch copped a bit from the boys so that is a good sign and means he has settled in well and we are looking forward to seeing him play.

"He is a terrific all-round cricketer, he has got three disciplines, in the sense he is a brilliant fielder, a terrific hard-hitting batsman and bowls very good left arm spin.

"Mitch is a real diamond, him and Matt Henry, but we've also got many other terrific T20 players and we are looking forward to hopefully some good weather which means we will get a big crowd and kick us off to a good start in that competition."

Rhodes believes Durham will miss the services of Australian paceman John Hastings who requires shoulder surgery although he has been playing in the IPL.

He said: "Durham are an interesting side. They've two or three really important T20 players in Paul Collingwood, Phil Mustard and Mark Stoneman but I think one of their key players was John Hastings and I think they'll miss him.

"Usman Arshad is a terrific T20 bowler and possibly him and Hastings were really the two that did some good damage and bowled well at the start of the innings.

"It will be interesting to see if the likes of Onions possibly can step up and fill his shoes and do the same job as Hastings did.

"He did a terrific job last year and I think they will miss him."

Rhodes says the Rapids recent form in the T20 Blast – three quarter-finals in the past four years – will count for little when the 2016 season gets underway.

He said: "To us, our last T20 game against Hampshire is a long, long time ago and we won't be going out there thinking we are the bees knees.

"We will be determined to get off to a winning start but certainly respectful of the opposition and the competition.

"It really doesn't mean too much what has gone on before. What it does mean is we've had the ability to get through to quarter-finals.

"We know what we've got to do to get there and we've got to get plenty of points on the board in this group stage and hopefully getting off to a good start against Durham is just what we want."