TODAY |

Mitchell Santner eyeing World Cup ahead of Black Caps return

Black Caps all-rounder Mitchell Santner says he's fit and firing on all cylinders ahead of his return to international cricket, likely to take the field in tonight's Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka at Eden Park.

Santner, 26, has been out of action for nearly a year, after undergoing surgery on a bone defect in his right knee in March last year.

The spinning all-rounder has since returned to domestic cricket, playing for the Northern Knights in the Burger King Super Smash, given the green light to don the silver fern once again tonight.

Speaking to 1 NEWS, Santner told of the nerves he's feeling ahead of tonight's clash, feeling like a second international debut.

"I guess it's a little bit nervous," he began.

"It's more excitement rather than anything.

"I've been out for a while, it's been nice to get a few games for the Knights, and [it's] another step up tonight."

After such a crippling injury, many cricketers would be anxious to trust in their body again, Santner however, says that he's returned with the same intensity that saw him begin to cement his spot as a Black Caps regular in all formats of the game.

"After surgery and a long hiatus, you might be a bit cautious. But first game I was diving around the outfield and stuff like that.

"There's no dramas now, we've just got to get on. Try and get some wickets, try make some runs."

Santner has also been forced to play spectator as the Black Caps' spinning stocks reached unprecedented levels, with no fewer than five genuine options in contention across all the formats of the game.

But with the World Cup in England rapidly approaching, the left-armer knows that he has to make his return count to book his spot.

"Everyone's trying to make that World Cup squad, it's a big year for New Zealand cricket.

"But I guess for me, I'm just trying to take it one game at a time at the moment, first game back tonight.

"It's good to see a lot of boys stepping up, especially all the spinners, it's good for New Zealand cricket."

The all-rounder will make his international comeback after a knee injury tonight. Source: 1 NEWS