Chennai: Fully aware of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's big-hitting abilities, Kiwi left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, on Monday said he is happy to be bowling to former India skipper in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) nets rather than in a match situation in the coming Indian Premier League.
Santner has been bought by Dhoni-led CSK for the forthcoming edition of the IPL.
"I'm happy I'll be bowling to Dhoni in the nets rather than in a match like I have been," said Santner, who was picked up by CSK for Rs 50 lakh in the auction last month.
The Kiwi said he was looking forward to joining the team and playing alongside experienced players like Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and others.
"I'm definitely looking forward to joining the culture at CSK, talking to and playing alongside experienced players such as skipper Dhoni, Raina and Jadeja in a great team environment," the 26-year-old Santner said.
"I'm very excited to be a part of this year's IPL and looking forward to joining the Chennai family. The IPL is probably the biggest T20 competition in the world, so I am excited to showcase my skills on the big stage and ultimately help CSK win games and ideally the championship," he said.
Santner impressed during New Zealand's limited-overs tour of India last year with his guile and control. The Hamilton-born cricketer climbed to the top of the T20 International bowling rankings for the first time in January this year and also unveiled his version of the carrom ball, dubbed the 'claw,' a delivery that he flicks out of his fingers.
"I've been lucky enough to play in India in all three formats and have had some reasonable success along the way against some of the best players going around, so I'm looking to draw on some of that experience in the upcoming IPL," he said.
Santner said he also enjoyed bowling in India because the conditions help spinners.
"I enjoy bowling in India because the conditions can benefit spinners on some slower wickets and playing in front of packed stadiums, full of fans is also something you don’t get back home," he said.
The 2018 IPL season kicks off on April 7 with CSK taking on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.