The Indian Express

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‘Sitting out hurts, but life goes on’

Talking to Sportline, Amit Mishra chalks out his future plans, which involves, among other things, a short county stint. Excerpts from the interview.

Amit Mishra missed out on the ICC World Twenty20 touring party for the Indians, despite being the second highest wicket-taker after Pragyan Ojha in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this time around. The Delhi-based legspinner has taken the snub by the selectors on his chin.

Talking to Sportline, he chalks out his future plans, which involves, among other things, a short county stint. Excerpts from the interview.

The Indian Premier League is over. What are you plans for the period before the start of the next season?

The plan is still on. A couple of county teams are interested in signing me, let's see how it progresses. I think Hamphire and may be Somerset - who I'm not very clear - are the teams, who want me to play for them.

How close are you to signing a county contract?

Well, it's difficult to say when. My agent has to get back to me with the final deal. Moreover, I'm yet to get the go-ahead by the Indian cricket board. Once I get something concrete on the table, I will approach the board officials.

If the deal goes through, how long do you plan to play in England?

I am looking only at a shorter stint. Two months may be will be ideal for me. I am not aiming for a longer duration.

Are you still smarting from the fact that you weren't picked in the Indian squad for the ICC World Twenty20?

I can't sway selections in my favour. Obviously it is very hard to sit out when many, including myself, think that I'm in top form at the moment. Having said that, I can't forever be fretting over the fact that I wasn't selected. Life goes on.

Even when you were part of the national team, you were benched on many occasions. How hard was it for you to not play?

Like I said, I can't pick myself in the playing eleven. I would look at minute things like how Harbhajan used to react to different situations in the match. Talking to seniors in the team like Sachin paaji, Viru and even Gautam helped me a lot. I used to ask them if my deliveries were easier to pick during nets or was it harder. I have been discussing a lot about my bowling with Anil bhai, Hirwani and during last year I had a word with Shane Warne too. Learning, for a bowler like me, never ends.

Has the feedback that you have received helped improve your wicket-taking ability?

It has helped me a lot. I am a much better bowler now than I previously was. Now I am always trying to read a batsman: how he is reacting to my deliveries or is he is getting comfortable with my style or not. Things like these are most important if one has to play at the highest level for many years.

Does than mean that you have evolved as a bowler?

Oh yes. I am more aggressive in my style now. Now I am only looking at taking wickets, rather than concentrating on restricting the run-flow. Also I'm constantly working on my speed especially during a twenty20 match.

How hard is it for you to change your bowling style in different formats?

It does become very difficult to adjust. You have very little time to react in Twenty20, but one has to cope with it. In longer formats of the game, you have ample time to work towards prising out a wicket. In 20 overs, one the other hand, it's more of bowling disciplined lines but at the same time a bowler has to look for wickets.