Bengaluru: If anything, Amit Mishra has had a roller-coaster ride in his career. Yet, the leggie in prime form, is a delight to watch on the field. Heading to the West Indies as one of the seasoned bowlers, the leg-spinner is well aware of the responsibility of being a senior bowler in the team.
With varying options and differing pitch conditions on the cards, the 33-year-old Mishra has mentally prepared himself to deliver as the occasion demands.
“My role in this team is to be a wicket-taker. I have to basically perform whenever I get a chance to. Moreover, we have to look at the conditions in West Indies. Sometimes you take one spinner, sometimes you take fast bowlers or mix it up. I have to bowl according to how the field is playing.
“As a senior bowler I have to get an idea of the conditions very quickly. Once I get an idea I will be able to guide the youngsters in the team and tell them how to bowl. I should be able to guide them, irrespective of the fact whether I am playing or not in the team. Training and preparing under new coach Anil Kumble has been a learning experience and a pleasant one for the Delhi bowler.
“It has been quite good. I have played and taken a lot of bowling tips from Anil bhai. I’ve always has a great rapport with him. Now we have been talking and planning on how bowl in West Indies and how to grasp the conditions there. We are short of time, so we are not addressing too many technical issues, but what we are ironing out are smaller issues. We are also talking about the mental aspects on how to stay mentally strong, perform and adapt to conditions because the sooner we adapt to conditions, our performance will be better.”
Though he and Kumble have different styles of bowling, there has still been a lot to learn and take away for Mishra.
“Anil bhai and I are different bowlers, but his wicket-taking deliveries help me a lot. He tells me how to bowl those kind of balls. Even if I can take 2-3 aspects of his style of bowling it will be an add-on for me. We have been putting our plans in place for all their top batsmen on how to bowl and what pace we bowl to them. He is helping with variation too.”
On his interaction with Kumble during his retirement, Mishra said: “He told me, 'the legacy is passing on to you’ but I couldn’t learn much from him then because I debut during his last series.
“After that whenever I could I have spoken to him. But now he is with us for a year. Now he’s telling me, 'Apart from bowling, you have to bat for me as well and contribute as a batsmen also.' He is giving me a lot of confidence by saying that if you contribute with the bat, your confidence as a bowler will be high.”
He added that the season ahead is a big challenge. “Like we are heading to West Indies now, so we are looking at the next 4-5 matches. Since we are going to West Indies the focus now is on planning for that. When we come back we will think about what we have to do here. Everyone knows it’s a big season but we are taking one match at a time,” he said....