Abhimanyu Mithun (right) has been Karnataka’s leading wicket-taker this season © PTI
Abhimanyu Mithun, Karnataka’s leading wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 speaks to Nishad Pai Vaidya.
Abhimanyu Mithun has been one of the pillars of Karnataka’s successful run during the Ranji Trophy 2013-14. In 10 matches (including the final), Mithun has taken 39 wickets at an average of 23.25. On the second morning of the final, he snared the important wicket of Ankit Bawne to trigger a collapse that saw Maharashtra hand the advantage to Karnataka. It was on that foundation that the Karnataka batsmen built their innings and went on to dominate Day Two.
CricketCountry caught up with Mithun at the end of play on the second day. Excerpts:
CricketCountry (CC): You have performed well during the season. What areas have you worked on in the lead-up?
Abhimanyu Mithun (AM): After the IPL [Indian Premier League], I had a month off so I used to work on a few changes. I spoke to a few coaches who saw what I had been doing earlier. I have been working on a few changes and it came out really well this season.
CC: You have been a part of the Indian setup in the past and through your experiences, what did you take into domestic cricket?
AM: It helped me mentally as I got to know the difference between domestic and international cricket — how to survive at this level etc. I learnt a lot of important things. I know what to do now and if I get a chance again in international cricket, I know what I can do best.
CC: Have you worked on your fitness specifically as you seem to have put on a bit more muscle when compared to your early days?
AM: I have been working with different trainers. This season I have bowled some 300 plus overs and given my best in each. There are different changes in my training schedule has helped me a lot in my fitness.
CC: How is it bowling with R Vinay Kumar and Sreenath Aravind — both of whom have been a part of the Indian team?
AM: There is guidance for me as Vinay Kumar is a senior player. He has played many matches for Karnataka and also has international experience. He always tells me what is to be done in a situation if I am not doing it properly. He has seen me since my debut and he knows what exactly I can do and gives me talks during the game.
CC: Which has been your favourite spell of the season?
AM: It would be my spell against Uttar Pradesh [quarter-final] in the second innings. We needed a breakthrough and I got Parvinder Singh out. That spell was really important.
CC: The spell to bowl Maharashtra out was special, especially the wicket of Ankit Bawne. You were fired up…
AM: Yesterday, we were in the physio’s room and Vinay came up to me and said that we have to deliver. If we want to win the game then we have to take the chance and give our best.
CC: Maharashtra were bowled out on Day Two as they lost five wickets for 33 runs. What different did Karnataka do for that?
AM: I think we were a bit more aggressive. The wicket is flat and you have to put in a lot of effort to get results. So, we increased our aggression and were searching for the early wicket. We got it and went through with the momentum.
CC: What would you say about your batsmen’s effort on Day Two? Splendid wasn’t it?
AM: Yes, seriously. The batsmen are working really hard during the net sessions and every batsman knocks for an hour or two. They are batting really well on this wicket. Our side can bat up to No 9. So, we have nothing to lose now.
CC: You are one of the many members of the current squad who featured in the heartbreaking loss to Mumbai in the 2010 final. Did that play on your mind this time?
AM: Before the start of this game, we all thought about that match, which we lost in 2010. Eight of us played in that game then. We already know how we felt while losing to Mumbai by six runs. We want to win this game at any cost, and we as a team, have put in a lot of effort at practise.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)