VISAKHAPATNAM: The frustration of having to sit out the Test series against New Zealand seems to have made legspinner
determined to prove a point. In the ODI series which concluded here on Saturday night, the Delhi spinner took 15 wickets at an average of 14.33 – the best among all the bowlers on either side. Mishra’s 5-18 in the final game was incidentally his second five-for in ODIs in 36 matches.
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Mishra didn’t mince words when asked about the frustration of having to sit out, but added that coach Anil Kumble‘s tips had helped him tide over the low phase. “Anil Bhai helped me become mentally tough. It was not easy missing out on action during the Test series but he kept on telling me to be patient and that I will get my chance. He gave me a lot of small tips about my bowing and also asked me to improve my batting,” Mishra, who was named the Man of the Match as well as the Man of the Series, said after the match.
“There was bounce and spin in the pitch, so bowling slowly, bowling normally worked for me. Anil Bhai also talked to me about it before the match, to trust my strength, to trust the flighted balls,” he added.
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On the targets that he sets for himself, Mishra said: “I don’t think about it. The day I keep setting long-term goals, the pressure will increase. I keep my focus on the match on hand. My aim is to look how I can take wickets and win matches.” “I know I have to keep on taking wickets. Whenever I get to bowl, my only aim is to get wickets. I have decided to focus on things which are in my control like taking wickets t and scoring runs. Playing a match is not in my hands and l I stopped worrying about it.
When given a chance, I try to make the most of it and contribute to the team’s cause,” he added.
Mishra said he was very happy with the outcome of the series. “It was a pressure match and I am happy that I was able to do well in this game. We had put in a lot of hard work and hence I am not surprised with the result. We knew that if we got a couple of early wickets, it will not be easy for them to chase the score against our attack. To perform in a crunch game I gives one great satisfaction,” I the 33-year-old spinner said., “Initially I was worried I about the short boundaries but
told me not to worry about anything and to bowl normally,” he added before signing off.