West Indies v India, 2016: Amit Mishra wants to make best use of the chances available
It's nearly a year since Amit Mishra last played an international game for India. He last featured in the third Test between India and South Africa in November 2015. Eight months later, the leg-spinner is all set to play in India's Test tour of West Indies that starts on July 21.
With the Indian Team training at a national camp in Bangalore ahead of the series, Mishra spoke to the media and talked about coming back into the national side. The 32-year-old had been out for four seasons before the tour of Sri Lanka last year. However, Mishra looked forward to making the best of the opportunities that were presented to him.
The bowler from Delhi understands what the team expects of him when picked in the side and seemed positive about his role. “My role in this team is that of a wicket-taker. Whenever I get a chance I perform for the team,” he said.
Before the Sri Lanka series, Mishra was part of the squad that travelled to West Indies in 2011. He had been part of the side that played the first Test in Jamaica. Even if he is not picked on a regular basis, Mishra feels that he has something to give to the team.
“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,” Mishra said.
Mishra was also eager to work with Anil Kumble, the new Indian coach. Kumble, being a leg-spinner, could help Mishra in a huge way to help improve his performance and cement his place in the Indian side.
“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,” Mishra explained.
India, who are set to play 13 Test matches at home during the 2016/17 season, could do with someone with Mishra's experience and guile. The 32-year-old will be looking to impress the coach and the selectors during the tour of West Indies. Despite Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja being India's main spinners, Mishra will hope to make the best use of the available opportunities and give his captain, Virat Kohli an extra option to use during the series.