The chitchat ahead of the T20 World Cup includes one which is hard to believe and even harder to digest after the match winning performance in back-to-back matches, that Amit Mishra had a better option than playing cricket as bringing gifts and pictures of mates, as travelling with the Indian team through different countries is all that he had been doing. But consecutive Man-of-the-Match performances in the tournament have given answers to his critics with a spinning smile on the other side.
Who dreamt of a leg spinner using flight and spin to take wickets in T20 other than the great leg spinner of the century Shane Warne? Mishra invites batman to go after him and that is the plan that is working out for him in the ongoing T20 World Cup. He follows his idol, Shane Warne when he talks about how to take wickets and not about keeping runs down in the shorter format of the game. In fact, this isn’t new to Mishra, he has been doing the equivalent substance in the IPL and has just about 100 wickets, with multiple hat-tricks, at an
economy of less than seven per over.
Mishra’s maiden wicket over was the turning point which changed the course of the game against Pakistan. The over proved the difference as it bring shackles onto the two batsmen and developed pressure which
resulted in mistimed shots and wickets for India. Fist he got rid of Ahmed Shehzad, who has just started opening hands by the classic leg break and then Shoaib Malik with a flighted delivery outside off. It should be noted that in the final three overs, Indian pacers went on to give 28 runs but thanks to the spin trio to keep the Pakistani
batsmen quite throughout the innings which helped them make an easily achievable target in the end.
Mishra’s dream run and pleasing sight for leg spinners to bring batsman out of the crease and getting him stumped continued in the match against West Indies. He did the same magic to Marlon Samuels
this time as he did in the previous game to Ahmed Shehzad. His confidence was high and on the very next ball caught Dwayne Bravo in front of the wickets by his googly. As to the likings of Indian Team and particularly Amit Mishra, this over became the one which allowed them to restrict West Indies to a low total. Mishra finished with the figures of 4-0-18-2 and this time was well complemented by Bhuvneshwar Kumar who conceded just three runs of the three overs he bowled.
Mishra in previous times has rarely got the opportunity to play such a crucial role in the team. More often than not, he plays simply when some of the favourite bowlers don’t. Team Management and Captain Dhoni prefers R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who have shown their skills with both bat and bowl. Unless the conditions suits spinners, Mishra keeps the benches warm. And when he is given a chance, he is expected to deliver at the very moment.
The performance against Pakistan in the Asia Cup with figures of 10 overs and 28 runs with two wickets earned him a spot in playing eleven against the same team in the T20 World Cup. With such performances, Mishra has proven the faith shown in him by the slectors and answered his venerable critics.
Wishing Mishra and team India some pleasant sights to deliver to the fans all round the globe, it is right to say well bowled Mishi.