Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, unfortunately left out of India's World T20 squad, is the leading wicket-taker so far in this year's Indian Premier League and holds, by virtue of it, the Purple Cap. Excerpts from an interview.
New Delhi: Much of the credit for the Daredevils' success has been given to their batsmen. However, one man has quietly contributed as much, if not more. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, unfortunately left out of India's World T20 squad, is the leading wicket-taker so far in this year's Indian Premier League and holds, by virtue of it, the Purple Cap. Excerpts from an interview.
Is a spinner being the leading wicket-taker in a T20 format unusual?
Look at it this way. Batsmen take chances on spinners, and if the spinner has the nerve, he can exploit those chances. I believe if you are a quality spinner who can think, and have confidence in your abilities, you can take wickets in any format.
How has it been under Gambhir?
Gautam and Sehwag, his predecessor as Daredevils' captain, have backed me to the hilt. The two have given me freedom, never interfering. If a captain gives you that kind of freedom, you know how much he trusts you. Both are aggressive and positive and support their players.
Is it difficult to switch between formats?
If you are a professional, you adjust. There is no choice. When I play Test cricket, I look at what men like Shane Warne and Anilbhai have done, and when I play T20s, then I look at the best in T20s and learn from them. If there is enough gap between games of different formats, you sit back and adjust.
Was being left out of the World T20 squad disappointing?
Well, it has motivated me to do better. At the moment I'm just concentrating on the IPL.
My job is to play wherever I'm asked to. Ever since I began playing the IPL, my dream was to wear the Purple Cap. Now I have it.
Yet, despite performances, you've been in and out of the India team.
It depends on the combination the team management wants. I just give my best.
Whenever I play, I perform and that is my job. Picking me or not is for the selectors and the management.
Are there still areas for improvement?
There is always space for improvement. The other night, I was speaking to Daniel (Vettori) about problem areas. I ask other bowlers, even batsmen.
Your bowling strategy.
Bowling at the right spots and bowling to my strengths. I love cricket the way I love my family. There are no regrets. It matters little who I play for. I thank the Haryana Cricket Association, especially Ranbir Mahendra, for giving me a break.