Amit Mishra: Entering the Playoffs a big achievement for Delhi Capitals

Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly have helped keep things simple and develop a good atmosphere within the Delhi Capitals setup, the leg-spinner says.

Amit Mishra is now the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL, with 152 wickets.   -  sandeep saxena

Delhi Capitals made it to the Playoffs for the first time in seven years, and leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who is playing for the franchise since 2015, called it a “big achievement.”

Mishra played a useful role in Capitals’ 16-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore that propelled it to the next round, taking two wickets.

Speaking to the media after the contest, Mishra said, “It’s a big achievement. For the last five years, [Delhi] hadn’t been able to qualify for the playoffs. I have been playing here for three years. This time, we have qualified. It feels very good; the atmosphere is very nice, the [rapport] with everyone is nice. All of us support each other. The biggest thing I feel [that has aided in the success] is that we have kept things very simple.”

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He added: “No doubt, the presence of Dada (Sourav Ganguly, the team mentor) and Ricky Ponting (the head coach) has helped. Both are aggressive, but both are handling the team calmly. That’s very important for any team. They have made the atmosphere nice within the team, due to which I think the players are benefiting.”

Commenting on his own performance in the contest, he said, “My mindset was to take wickets. In the last few matches, I was bowling well but wasn’t getting wickets. Therefore, I was more aggressive for wickets today. When middle-order batsmen are dismissed the pressure is built upon the opposition. I was lucky to have taken two wickets today. A catch was dropped as well, after those wickets. If one or two wickets had fallen the contest may have ended earlier.”

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Mishra elaborated on his role as a senior player in the squad filled with youngsters. He said, “When the youngsters come, there’s no need to guide them too much. They’re already so talented and they have good brains. Just the small things –such as when [Sandeep] Lamichhane was bowling today, he was pressing too hard for wickets. The wicket wasn’t such that if you go for wickets, you will get them.

"Instead, the right approach was to apply pressure on the batsmen and to bowl your best balls so that you can stop boundaries. That would build pressure [on the opposition]. So I just [told him this]."

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Outlining the reasons behind Capitals’ success this season, Mishra said, “Last year, many of our players were injured. Fast bowlers were injured. This time, a proper team is in place. And I think we were lacking firepower in the middle order batting last year; the middle order has become very good. The relationship between Indians and foreigners are quite good, which is why I think [we are being successful]."

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Mishra is now the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL, with 152 wickets. When asked what he thought about the Indian team management viewing attacking wrist spinners favourably in the last couple of years, the 36-year-old said, “There’s no regret. I’m very happy that I’m performing well in the IPL. It is a big platform on which I’m the second-highest wicket-taker. I’m happy but the recognition has come a little late; if it had come a little earlier, it would have been even better for the Indian team. The format has changed. So, everyone needs wicket-takers."