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India vs New Zealand 2016: 5-star Amit Mishra thanks Anil Kumble for his support

Leg-spinner expresses delight in helping India defeat New Zealand 3-2 in the ODI series.

Amit Mishra
Mishra emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the 5-match series (Image Courtesy: BCCI)

Having been constantly overlooked despite being an attacking option across all three formats, Amit Mishra utilized the ODI series against New Zealand as a platform to showcase his skills. The leg-spinner picked up a whopping 15 wickets from the 5 matches and helped India clinch the series 3-2. Fresh from his remarkable five-wicket haul in the fifth ODI in Vizag, he acknowledged head coach Anil Kumble’s support during lean phases.

Kumble’s words of encouragement

During the post-match press conference, the 33-year old opened up on the advantages of having a fellow leg-spinner in the coaching group whilst admitting that he was always ready to perform despite getting very few opportunities in between.

Mishra revealed, “His (Anil Kumble’s) mental support is the biggest thing for me. I sat out for the entire Test series but he supported me mentally and told me ‘don’t worry, your time will come.’ Whenever I went in to bowl in the nets, he always gave me tips on how to improve your bowling like the seam position. He told me ‘you can improve batting also.’ He’s always there to rectify your small mistakes.”

Also Read: Has Amit Mishra ever been treated justly by Indian cricket?

When the team management decided to revert to the seven-four combination, the wrist-spinner was deemed surplus to the Test eleven as Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were in prime form. With the duo being rested from the ODI series in order to freshen up for the England Tests, he finally got his chance to lead the spin attack against the Kiwis.

The visitors bore the brunt of his guile-filled variations and had a hard time trying to decipher him. He eventually ended as the leading wicket taker as well as the Player of the Series. With only three ODIs left for India (against England) before the 2017 Champions Trophy, the experienced campaigner made a statement to the selectors regarding his value to the Indian team.

Happy with the hard work, says Mishra

Mishra was quoted as saying, “At this stage of career, I have to perform. I am a wicket-taking bowler. It has become a sort of trademark that ‘Amit ayega to wicket nikalega’ (When Amit comes, a breakthrough will follow). I have stopped thinking what’s not in my hands. I can improve my fitness, batting but can’t decide on how many matches I’ve played. I’ve prepared myself mentally in such a way that whenever there’s an opportunity, I give more than 100 percent.”

He added, “I’m happy for all the hard work I’ve put in. I’ve performed well and became Man of the Series. It’s the second series where I’ve played five matches continuously. To perform well here (in the series decider), it feels great. The biggest thing was it came in the most important match of the series. Everyone contributed well – be it in batting, bowling or fielding. We’re trying our best on fitness, it all showed today. It’s (all) about getting five wickets in the most crucial match and winning the series.”

With England arriving shortly for an epic showdown involving 5 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 3 T20Is, we may see a lot more of Mishra and his magical spells.

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