It was only a couple of days back that Amit Mishra was taken to the cleaners by his own captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a practice session in which Mishra was slaughtered for six sixes and four boundaries in 10 balls.
Fast forward to the crunch India-Pakistan encounter in the World T20 and Mishra let his wrsits do the talking as he delivered a man of the match performance against our arch enemies. Mishra said that he is always thinking about taking wickets and not just putting the brakes on the run-scoring, and is not afraid to flight the ball which is one of the most essential qualities of an attacking leg-spinner in the modern day game.
Indian captain MS Dhoni is well aware that although leg spinners might go for runs, they have the knack of picking up wickets, which is crucial in the T20 format.
“I am not afraid to flight the ball because my aim is to take wickets and not restricting the batsmen. I believe you can never succeed trying to stop the flow of runs instead of trying to dismiss the batsmen and pick up wickets. If you aim to try and take wickets, you can put pressure on the batsman,” Mishra told reporters after walking away with the man of the match award for his 2-22 against Pakistan last night.
Mishra said that Dhoni has always been extremely supportive and encouraged him to stay true to his strengths and bowl with an attacking mindset.
“The skipper (Dhoni) always advises me to try to spin the ball as that is my strength. He tells me that I have the ability to beat the batsman in flight. That is how i got the wickets of Ahmad Shehzad and Shoaib Malik. In T20 cricket, the more variations you possess, the more advantageous it is as a bowler,” Mishra opined.
Mishra has been in and out of the team in recent times, but when given an opportunity like in the Asia Cup against Pakistan, has grabbed his chance with both hands.
“The key is to remain positive and and shut out the negative things. In our squad, the good thing is that everyone is told to remain prepared as anybody could be given an poortunity. When you get your opportunity, you need to take it with both hands.”
Mishra says that he is working really hard on his fitness in the gyms, and insists it is unfair that some of his critics label him as “slow through the air”.
Finally, Mishra, who has represented Indian team in only 2 T20I games, says that the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League helped him a lot as it is a great platform of proving your potential against the very best in the business.
“Obviously, IPL has had a positive effect in improving my bowling having competed with the best batsmen in the world. In fact, most of the youngsters in Indian cricket is coming through IPL as it is providing an ideal platform to the talented players,” he concluded.