Amit Mishra looks to fine-tune skills under Kumble

Amit Mishra earned his Test cap a match before Anil Kumble called time on his illustrious career in 2008. The call-up was a result of an injury to Kumble. Eight years since, the 32 year-old Mishra hasn’t exactly been able to fit into Kumble’s big shoes, having made the cut in 18 Tests so far.The Delhiite, who was out of the side for four seasons until the Sri Lanka series last year, is however at peace with himself and is looking to cash in on the chances that come his way.
“My role in this team is that of a wicket-taker. Whenever I get a chance I perform for the team,” he said. Mishra is among the four members of the current side who played in the 2011 tour of West Indies and featured in the opening Test at Kingston. A man who knows a thing or two about putting in the hard yards, Mishra believes he can contribute to the team irrespective of his position in the pecking order. “Sometimes we may play only one spinner and four fast bowlers. I will have to bowl according to the conditions. As a senior bowler I have to grasp things quickly and tell the youngsters how and what kind of deliveries to bowl. Whenever I feel the need I will offer my suggestions whether I’m playing or not.” With a fellow spinner at the helm of coaching, Mishra believes the learning curve has just begun and the focus now is on ironing out smaller errors.
“I have played with Anil bhai and taken a lot of bowling tips from him. I’ve always shared a great rapport with him. We have been talking and planning on how to bowl and understand the conditions in the West Indies. We are short of time, so we are not addressing too many technical matters. But we are ironing out smaller issues. We are focusing more on how to have a greater impact on their players. 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.”
With 13 Tests to be played at home, the season ahead is challenging for Mishra but he insisted that the focus is more on the upcoming series rather than the long run at home.
“No doubt it is a big challenge when you are playing for the country, but however long the season is, we don’t look ahead too much. We are heading to West Indies, so we are looking at the next 4-5 matches. 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 concluded.

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