Mitchell slotted seamlessly into the boots of Colin de Grandhomme, scoring 73 off 159 balls on his Test debut, which suggests that New Zealand have a greater depth of resources than traditionally. Seddon Park is Mitchell’s home ground but he has been to other countries as a consequence of his father’s job as a rugby coach.
Daryl moved to England aged five when his father John coached Sale, then becoming Clive Woodward’s assistant with England, “Daryl didn’t play any cricket in England,” recalled his proud mother Kay as she watched. “Manchester United was his team and he was going to play for them.”
From 10 to 14 Daryl was back in Hamilton playing for his school first team at cricket and rugby before moving to Perth, where his father coached Western Force. The son played alongside Justin Langer for Scarborough when they won a grade title, so he would have learned about positive attitude, and it showed in his debut Test innings as he hooked and drove confidently. His rugby career, as a fly-half, ended in Perth when he dropped a kick from the halfway line in his last game before returning to Hamilton to pursue cricket. As a young boy Daryl had a rather useful kicking coach, Jonny Wilkinson.
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