Mirpur: Indian leg spinner Amit Mishra, who bagged the Man of the Match award against Pakistan with his disciplined bowling, has very often been confined to the benches though he has travelled a lot as part of the team. This was only his second Twenty20 match despite making his Twenty20 International debut in 2010 against Zimbabwe at Harare.
Though it has been frustrating for Mishra, he believes that patience has its virtues and that one has to sit outside with a positive mind. “I always think positive and [try not to] focus on the negatives. I try to improve myself [by] talking to our coaches and my captain Dhoni. They give me lots of tips and I am really happy about it,” he said.
When asked what words of advice came from Dhoni as well as his coaches, Mishra said: “They assured me that my time will come and all I need to do is to wait for that moment. I am really happy that the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) supported me and allowed me to be a part of the team.”
Mishra also remarked how Dhoni helped him become stronger mentally. “Dhoni came to me and said to not to think too much and go by my strength. My strength is my ability to spin the ball and I beat the batsman by giving it some flight. I often do the same. I had their opener stumped and dismissed Shoaib Malek. You gain a lot from small tips. The way Dhoni guides me, it helps in pressure games.”
Mishra was thrilled at bagging the Man of the Match award against Pakistan. “It is special feeling when you do well against Pakistan. I had done a lot of hard work and I am really happy that I could perform well and win this match for India. In the last Asia Cup, I performed well but we did not win the match.”
One of the shortcomings pointed out to him about his bowling was that he was too slow through the air in his flight and was not as fit as others. Countering such criticism, Mishra said: “I do not think I am slow. I have worked on my variations and have tried to understand the game a bit more. That is helping me. There is no doubt that the more variations you have, the more it helps in this format. I have increased my variations and have worked on my speed a lot as well. That is helping me. I have also worked a lot on my fitness.”
Mishra, who has been a consistent performer in the Indian Premier League (IPL), says he owes a lot to that event too. “I think IPL has helped me a lot. All kinds of players and top performers come to play in it and you gain experience there.
“You talk to people, bowl and perform in front of such big players. It is the healthy competition in the IPL that has helped me to improve. New players too come into the team and are improving and all these helps India to get a good team too.”