Left-arm spin was all but obsolete in the late 90s till a bespectacled teenager once again brought about the resurgence of this dying art. A decade and half has followed since then, but Daniel Vettori continues to remain one of the best left-arm spinners in world cricket today.
Vettori's talent was so evident in his very first season for Northern Districts that Kiwi selectors did not bat an eyelid before blooding him in the national squad when he was only 18. His first 10 Tests yielded 30 wickets and he also started finding his feet in ODIs. Though he continued to impress over the next two years, his claim to fame was to come in the Auckland Test against Australia in early 2000. Against a strong Baggie Green line-up, he prized 12 wickets and even though New Zealand lost the game, his performance did not go unnoticed. He again proved to be Australia's nemesis on the 2001 trip Down Under, picking up 5-wicket hauls in consecutive Tests.
He suffered a dip in form in the 2003-04 season, but the southpaw returned to his old ways against Bangladesh with a rout of 20 wickets from 2 Tests. 2008, by far, proved to be his best year with 54 Test wickets and he was also elevated as the Black Caps' captain. Unfortunately, retirements and the Indian rebel league saga robbed him of key players and it was not until recently that he had a wider squadron of players to work with. Daniel Vettori started off his Indian T20 league career by playing for Delhi before moving onto Bengaluru.
When compared to a Warne or a Muralidaran, Vettori is not a big turner of the ball but it is his variations in flight, line and length coupled with his ability to out-think and outfox batsmen that have made him so successful over the years. A very good lower-order batsman, he has played several match-winning and match-saving knocks for his team. With an extremely successful Test career and rather fulfilling captaincy tenure, 'Dan' stepped down from the post in Tests and retired from the shorter formats after the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. Vettori's career since then, has been flagged by a dodgy knee that has been subjected to surgery but has not recuperated to complete fitness, keeping him out of action for New Zealand for nearly two years. Vettori however, represented Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League for the 2013-14 season.
With the 2015 ICC World Cup slated Down Under, skipper Brendon McCullum insisted that the Kiwi squad would be incomplete without the veteran and Vettori obliged, coming out of retirement. He finished the tournament in grand style, as the joint highest wicket-taker by a spinner. Vettori immediately called it quits post the World Cup.
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