Home > Features >

Amit Mishra: The wicket-taker MS Dhoni needs to unleash in ICC World T20 2014

Amit Mishra was in fine form in Asia Cup 2014 © AFP (File Photo)
Amit Mishra was in fine form in Asia Cup 2014 © AFP (File Photo)

By Taus Rizvi

Amit Mishra has seldom enjoyed the confidence of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But he has never taken the apparent snub to heart. In fact, the leg-spinner has always let his bowling do the talking.

A ‘passenger’ on most tours, Mishra recently got an opportunity to display his skills under Virat Kohli in the Asia Cup 2014. He impressed one-and-all with his bag of tricks. His two for 28 in that high-pressure game against Pakistan was noteworthy. If not for that blitz from Shahid Afridi, India would have won the contest and booked a place in the final.

Mishra, who hails from Delhi but represents Haryana in First-Class cricket, should be an automatic choice in the Indian XI for the upcoming ICC World T20 2014 in Bangladesh. That Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are also part of the squad shouldn’t go against Mishra. His ability to bowl wicket-taking deliveries holds him in good stead.

A cursory look at the numbers also tells us that the leggie has an edge over the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) duo of Ashwin and Jadeja, both of whom enjoy Dhoni’s confidence. Mishra is the second-highest wicket-taker in Indian Premier League (IPL) history. With 95 wickets in 76 games, Mishra is second only to Lasith Malinga (103). The leg-spinner picks up a wicket every seven deliveries in the Twenty20 (T20) extravaganza. He has represented three teams — Delhi Daredevils (DD), Deccan Chargers (DC) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) — and has taken a hat-trick for each of them.

Conversely, Ashwin has only 64 wickets from 67 matches. Jadeja’s record is mediocre to say the least: in 78 matches, the left-arm spinner has taken merely 39 wickets.

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

Such has been the impact of Mishra in T20s cricket that Hyderabad even used their ‘right to match’ card to retain him for Rs 4.75 crore in the recent IPL auction. Delhi were also trying to buy him.

For Dhoni, who will be looking to win his second ICC World T20 title, Mishra will be the right man to go. After all, he is a wicket-taker; Ashwin and Jadeja generally look to stem the flow of runs. They wait for the batsman to make mistakes, Mishra, on the other hand, forces the batsman to err. On those super-slow wickets in Bangladesh, Mishra would be more than a handful with his attacking line. For someone who bowls slower through the air, his deliveries would force the batsman to generate power. A multidimensional bowler, Mishra is well-versed with the art of containing too, We saw that in the Asia Cup.

Former India leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani, who mentors Mishra, opined that his ward should be Dhoni’s go-to man in the ICC World T20 2014. “He has shown his abilities in the Asia Cup. He is a wicket-taker and does his job perfectly. The captain may not be a huge fan of his, but Mishra makes full use of whatever opportunity he gets,” said Hirwani, who was part of the previous national selection committee.

Hirwani went on, “Dhoni needs to have faith in Mishra. He has to give him the confidence he gives to the other bowlers. Just because Dhoni can play leg-spin well, it doesn’t mean that every batsman in world cricket can. Mishra deserves a longer run,” he added.

So how handy will be Mishra in Bangladesh? “The wickets will obviously be on the slower side. The batsman will find it tough to score freely. And as a result, they will try to force the issue by hitting the ball hard. That’s when you end up mistiming the ball. Mishra will be deadly on such wickets. I have told him to bowl slower through the air. His pace should be below the 80-kph mark as not many batsman practice against such slow deliveries. And don’t forget, he has many a trick up his sleeve. He bowls a brilliant googly. Mishra should be India’s No 1 bowler in the tournament,” Hirwani said.

(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, were it first appeared)

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia Zimbabwe vs Australia 2014

Supreme Court refuses to reinstate N Srinivasan as BCCI president

Supreme Court gives Mudgal commission two more months to investigate IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal

Mudgal Committee may recommend Chennai Super Kings expulsion from IPL

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe delighted with historic win against Australia

Michael Clarke terms Australia’s performance as ‘terrible’ against Zimbabwe in 4th ODI

David Bairstow: A champion claimed by depression

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Enforcement Directorate begins probe against a dozen online e-retail firms

Obi S400, Obi S450, Obi S500, Obi Python S452 and Obi Wolverine launched, prices start from Rs 4,200

5 shades of pink lipsticks that every girl should try

Ek Hasina Thi: Why is Sakshi finding satisfaction in Shaurya’s pain?

Michael Clarke says Australia were terrible against Zimbabwe

Centre deliberately denying power to Maharashtra: Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan

8 things that affect your bone health adversely

NGOs pursue education for all

Mudgal Committee may recommend Chennai Super Kings expulsion from IPL

Diesel at almost market price as under-recovery falls to 8 paise

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here