Mishra happy to play his part

Amit Mishra may not have taken wickets in a heap in the two Tests he has played, but he has provided some crucial breakthroughs at the right times to keep the momentum in favour of the hosts.

Amit Mishra celebrates after picking the wicket of South African skipper Hashim Amla. Mishra rates the dismissal as his second best in the series.   -  PTI

Amit Mishra, 33, is ripening fast, ever-ready to deliver. With his subtle variety – the traditional leg-break, the deceptive googly, the bewitching loop, the varying length, the clever change of pace – the underrated spinner has turned out to be an impact bowler in India’s dominating performance over South Africa in the ongoing four-match Test series.

Mishra may not have taken wickets in a heap in the two Tests he has played, but he has provided some crucial breakthroughs at the right times to keep the momentum in favour of the hosts.

 

Castling the dangerous AB de Villiers twice in Mohali and removing the set duo of Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis and scalping the experienced JP Duminy in Nagpur have been the high points of Mishra’s seven-wicket haul in the series so far. They speak a lot about the diminutive leg-spinner’s ability to plot the downfall of accomplished batsmen.

A team-man

Mishra, who was dropped for the rain-marred Bengaluru Test, has no qualms about not rolling his arm over as often as fellow spinners R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

“When you take an important wicket and the team wins, it is all the more satisfying. It is not a good feeling when you bowl 15-20 overs and remain wicket-less,” said Mishra, as the Indians reassembled here on Tuesday for a practice session in the run-up to the fourth and final Test starting at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Thursday.

Mishra rated the wickets of de Villiers and Amla in Mohali and Nagpur respectively as his top dismissals. “The first would be the one of AB in the second innings in Mohali, because at that time we did not have many runs and they had a lot of wickets left.” He got de Villiers with a lethal flipper.

Amla’s wicket, which ended the South African captain’s 72-run stand with du Plessis spanning more than 46 overs, was his second best.

Credit should go to the bowlers

Mishra was disappointed with the spinner-friendly pitches getting more attention than the bowlers themselves. “There has been a lot of talk about the pitch. But our performances should also get the attention they deserve. Our conditions have been like this for a long time. Conditions are similar in the sub-continent. We also bowled well in Sri Lanka and won,” he said.

The bowler knows the Kotla like the back of his hand. For Mishra, who has 65 wickets from 18 Tests, the hunt for glory resumes on Thursday.