The ball was perfectly flighted and deceived Ross Taylor in the air. Before he knew what happened, Dhoni destroyed the bails to send him back in the hut in what was a leg spinner’s delight. Finishing the game with a fifer and the series with 15 wickets, Amit Mishra went on to collect the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series Awards. It was indeed a special moment for the hardworking leggie who has spent most of his career not being recognized for his contributions towards Indian Cricket.
Being born in a wrong era sometimes proves costly. It certainly has for Amit Mishra, who despite having the quality and talent to play at the top level failed to mark a regular spot for himself with the likes of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh leading the spin attack earlier on before passing on the baton to Ravichandran Ashwin lately.
Never seen as the leader of the pack, Mishra has mostly remained underrated and unsung and has played the role of a complementary bowler rather than the strike bowler and the leader of the attack.
Be it for Delhi, for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, India or even Sunrisers Hyderabad and Haryana; Amit Mishra has never really got the due he deserves. Winning games for each plenty, he always remained in the shadow of the other players who surfaced as the stars and the heroes for the respective side.
Getting into the stats, Mishra has 507 wickets in 143 matches with an average of 28.80; something not many would have representing India for a long time. Amit Mishra has proved his point despite getting only meagre chances. 71 wickets in 20 tests and 64 in 36 ODI’s with an average of 23.60 gives account of the quality of the man.
Not having played enough games for India; most of them would call it inconsistency but the leggie seems to have been hard done by, getting the chances mostly for someone’s injury or at the beginning for Kumble’s retirement as well. Mishra also got a few of his chances in India, but mostly as the third spinner. Given his style of bowling where he relies more on the quickness of the pitch as he is not quick through the air, playing on very slow wickets also don’t help.
Not putting it as an excuse and though a bit of inconsistency is a fair point, for someone who is playing international cricket on and off, it’s never really easy.
Ashwin’s rest in the New Zealand series came as a blessing for Mishra who has made a mark with magnificent performances throughout the course of the series. The warrior he is, Mishy, as his friends call him, never gives up and gives it his all on every little opportunity he gets.
With an impressive performance against a quality side, Mishra seems to be finally making a strong statement for his further inclusion in the squad ahead of other spinners doing rounds.
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