India’s slow bowlers will play a key role in the upcoming series against South Africa and will be instrumental in pitches which are conducive to spin. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra on Wednesday said he and Ravichandran Ashwin hunt in tandem. 

“Ashwin and I hunt in tandem and there has been no problem as yet. Bowling in tandem doesn’t mean both should pick wickets. It is about keeping pressure from one end when the other guy is picking up wickets for the team,” Mishra told reporters on the third day of Team India camp at National Cricket Academy. 

The Proteas will play three-match T20 International series against hosts India commencing on October 2 at Dharamsala. Later on the Proteas will take on the hosts for 5 ODI’s and 4 Test matches. 

Mishra said the series will be challenging, but the hosts boast of good players who can give a fight to the visitors. 

“The series will be challenging, but we also have a very good ODI team. All players have been performing out of their skins for quite some time,” he said. 

Mishra said the team’s focus is on putting up a good show rather than thinking about playing conditions. 

“I can’t talk much about the playing condition, don’t know what sort of conditions we will get to play. Instead of focusing on it, we are focusing on putting up a good show.” 

Mishra said the team’s morale has been high with Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni giving all support to the players. 

“The team’s morale has been kept high with Dhoni and Virat supporting the players, which only boosts their confidence,” he said. 

Mishra said he doesn’t think much about whether he is in the team or not but tries to focus on improving his bowling and batting. 

“Any professional player should not, and I for one don’t think whether I am in the team or not in it, instead I focus on improving my bowling and of late, batting. I have been doing this for the last four years, which has helped me improve my game which was reflected in my performances during Sri Lanka series,” he said. 

Asked how he improved his batting, which was witnessed during the Sri Lanka series, Mishra said he began focusing on his batting during his stint as Uttar Pradesh captain. 

“My stint as Uttar Pradesh captain helped me improve my batting. I always expected my bowlers to contribute 50 to 60 odd runs, which could be crucial at the end of the match. Being a captain, I took the lead of shouldering the responsibility of making runs along with tail-enders. I have taken this forward into the Indian team,” he said.

Mishra has been called up for the ODI squad for the first time since 2013 and would be eyeing to make full use of the chance given to him. Mishra has claimed 45 scalps in the 27 games he played with best bowling figures of 6/48. However, in Tests Mishra would love to continue his good run of form and carry from where he left at the Sri Lankan tour. 

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