Will Mishra latch on to his spot?

Amit Mishra has been a part of the squad on several occasions but somehow he seems to lack the confidence of the team management. One wonders if the leggie is guilty of below average work ethics as Dhoni is one who reportedly picks a player based on attitude and not necessarily on inherent talent alone.

It is always enthralling to see subtlety on a cricket field. The delight stems from watching the intrigue that subtlety produces. It is for these reasons that a leg-spinner creates that aura and the same qualities earn the practitioners of that difficult craft the tag of match-winners.

unfortunately that breed is almost on the verge of extinction as one gets to see a leg-spinner weaving his magic only sporadically. It is even more a sore point that India does not field a leg-spinner on a regular basis. The success of Amit Mishra in Zimbabwe does give that ray of hope that he will latch on to his spot but the general feeling is that he does not possess the versatility that is much sought after in a player these days. But what cannot be overlooked is that he has performed fairly well in all formats of the game at different levels and in different stages of his career. Besides, he has stolen a march repeatedly over his rivals that suggests that he is the best option available at this point in time. That being the case, it becomes imperative that he is handled appropriately, for him to develop into a match-winner at the international level.

Some of the captains in the past realised the impact that a leggie can make and hence ensured they had one in the squad. Imran Khan for one had immense faith in Abdul Qadir and played him in the ODI’s against the biggest hitters in the game then. At the same time, he also knew when to hold him back as well like he did in Bangalore on a rank turner for the simple reason that the leggie was short of confidence. It is this sort of understanding that bowlers expect from their captains. To expect a leggie to be extraordinarily consistent is asking for too much even though Shane Warne, the greatest of them all, proved that a leggie can be as consistent as a finger spinner. Then, of course, not all leggies can be a Shane Warne.

Amit Mishra has been a part of the squad on several occasions but somehow he seems to lack the confidence of the team management. One wonders if the leggie is guilty of below average work ethics as Dhoni is one who reportedly picks a player based on attitude and not necessarily on inherent talent alone.

Mishra will need to go that extra yard to become a permanent fixture as Ashwin and Jadeja have the advantage of being multi-dimensional cricketers. One can argue that Mishra needs to be given some extra leeway as a wrist spinner can be more effective than a finger spinner. But in an era where the shorter formats of the game are aplenty, the team management would tend to lean towards utility cricketers more than they would towards specialists.

In addition, the hustle and bustle of modern cricket demands that cricketers are agile and athletic. As such guys like Mishra who are not naturally athletic have to improve that particular aspect in their make up in order to push for a regular slot in the playing eleven. Mishra is at a stage where he has gone through the grind enough and more to mature as a bowler but the flip side is that the other attributes like fitness and agility need more attention in the training sessions. I am not having a go at Mishra but merely pointing out that he needs to realise the advantage he possesses by virtue of being a leg-spinner. For one who has done well for his IPL franchisee, it will not be too difficult for him to rev it up to play other formats of the game at the top level if only he is willing.