Late bloomer Daryl Mitchell tries to find the right balance between risk and reward

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Daryl Mitchell is a late bloomer in international cricket.

He made his T20I debut when he was 27, was 28 during his first Test and was 29 when he entered New Zealand’s ODI setup.

Since Mitchell’s international debut, only Kane Williamson (5333) and Tom Latham (4581) have scored more runs – 4445 – than him across all formats for New Zealand.

However, for the now 32-year-old Kiwi, his delayed entry has been a “blessing” for him as he has become a cricketer on the field and a person off the field.

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“I think playing international cricket after a while, you can say it is a blessing. This gave me a chance to learn my game at the domestic level for some time and see not only what kind of cricketer I wanted to be and how I wanted to play but also what kind of cricketer I wanted to be off the field. I want.” During a select media interaction.

“I like to compete. That’s what motivates me, I get caught up in whatever work I do to help win games in cricket,” he added.

His competitive nature comes from his father, John Mitchell, a former rugby player and coach. Most of his school holidays were spent on the field and catching balls.

“There are probably things that have rubbed off on me that I probably didn’t realize as a little kid growing up. I was able to experience different sporting environments as a child,” he said, adding that ultimately it was cricket he was most passionate about and played in the backyard.

Mitchell’s play against spin was one of the talking points during the recently held 2023 World Cup in India. He was the first player to score two centuries against India in the same World Cup edition – 127 in Dharamsala and 134 in Mumbai.

According to him, this was also due to his late entry, which helped him figure out how he wanted his game to be, the way he could use his large frame to his advantage and compete with players around the world. Can learn from other players.

“It took me a while to get to those kinds of stages where I was able to figure out how I wanted to go about things. Being a New Zealander, I think naturally the wickets are not conducive to spin,” explained Mitchell, who hails from Hamilton.

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“So, it’s about finding the methods that work best for you. I’m 6’3′, I’m 100 kg, so it’s about making sure I use my size and my base and find ways to put pressure on the spinners in my own way.

“Obviously we’ve got a guy called Kane Williamson in our team who’s a really good spin player and I’ve learned a lot from him,” he said.

The striking spinner, who averages over 123 and 31 in T20s, is why Chennai Super Kings (CSK) spent Rs 14 crore on him and gave him a place in the middle order.

It was because of the striking spinners who averaged over 123 and 31 in T20s that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) spent Rs 14 crore on him and gave him a place in the middle order. , Photo Courtesy: The Hindu/Deepak KR

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It was because of the striking spinners who averaged over 123 and 31 in T20s that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) spent Rs 14 crore on him and gave him a place in the middle order. , Photo Courtesy: The Hindu/Deepak KR

“That’s the good thing about batting in the middle order – it’s never the same. Every inning is always different, and that’s something. I’m proud of myself because I can adapt to different conditions and work out ways to build partnerships and put pressure back on the bowlers,” Mitchell said.

To them, it doesn’t matter how the rune is scored and how it looks – ugly or beautiful – as long as it gets the job done.

“My blueprint is very simple, no matter what format it is. You tinker with the risk versus reward aspect of the game, be it Test cricket or even T20 cricket. It’s again making sure you get caught in the middle and just adapt to whatever format, (and) it’s just about trying to get the job done.

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