Amit Mishra’s job is to create pressure

Virat Kohli, Amit MishraLeg-Spinner Satisfied Playing Second Fiddle To Wicket-Taking Ashwin
Virat Kohli’s ascension to India Test captaincy gave a new lease of life to Amit Mishra. Cold-shouldered during MS Dhoni’s time as Test skipper, the situation was getting desperate for Mishra who was not getting any younger.Kohli’s attacking mindset and a willingness to go for wicket-taking options meant the leg-spinner came into the mix. Kohli’s first full assignment as captain saw Mishra play a crucial role in the series win in Sri Lanka last year.Impressed by his skills as well as his ebullience, Kohli has often praised Mishra as a `team man.’ Mishra took only three wickets in the first Test of the ongoing series against West Indies in Antigua but Kohli still commended him. “Mishi didn’t take too many wickets but he kept up the pressure from one end. His contribution was vital.“

Mishra, speaking to the media here on Wednesday , also spoke in the same vein. “ All we can do is to try and bowl well, and that is what I am trying to do.Getting wickets is not in your hands. Sometimes, partnerships build up and you have to create pressure from either end. So you do that from the other end. Ashwin was getting wickets in the last match so my role was to keep the pressure on. I am very satisfied and hopefully I can take a few more wickets in this Test.“

Amit Mishra also hailed the collective effort of the team in the Antigua Test. “It’s a great feeling how we won the first Test. It was a collective effort and we did well in batting, bowling, fielding, holding catches. But I feel we can forget that now. We’re now total ly concentrating on the Jamaica match.“

In the first Test, Carlos Brathwaite and Devendra Bishoo put up a 95-run ninth-wicket stand in the second innings to hold up India’s victory charge. India have often been frustrated by the lower order. “Sometimes you can get the main batsmen out but the tail can wag long. It becomes tough to get them out because you are concentrating on the main batsmen, and the last 3-4 wickets keep on playing. So we discussed that we will look to bowl wickettaking deliveries at them so that runs are also tough to come by .“

Amit Mishra once again expressed his elation on having Anil Kumble as the coach of the team. “I am very lucky that Kumble is with the coaching team now and he is with me in the team. When I was debuting, he had retired. So I could only talk to him intermittently. Now he is with me and we are able to talk a lot more. He keeps telling me about the different aspects of batting and bowling, how to bowl to tail-enders and while batting in the lower order how to bring about more confidence in your own batting. With his experience, he has helped with a lot of things.“

About the attacking mindset in the present team, the leggie said, “When you attack, you try to be aggressive and the mentality changes, and we are trying to take wickets and we talk about that more.“

The Sabina Park pitch had more than a a tinge of grass on it but Amit Mishra seemed unperturbed. “Two days are left for the match, so we will wait to see the wicket on the final day . But I don’t think we will get a pitch which is so green.“

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