New Delhi: Haryana's poor performance in the first half of the Ranji Trophy season proved detrimental to leg-spinner Amit Mishra’s chances of making it to the Test team during the series against England as he didn’t get enough opportunities to impress the national selectors.
But as the Haryana batsmen turned the tide and started scoring runs, Mishra was able to attack the opposition and prove to the selectors that he is a better bet than Piyush Chawla any day.
After taking 21 wickets from seven Ranji matches, Mishra has been rewarded with a spot in the ODI team for the three-match series against Pakistan in place of Chawla who took the field in the fourth Test as well as the two T20 matches against England.
The fact that Chawla returned figures of no wickets for 24 runs off three overs in the first T20 match in Pune and no wickets for 31 runs off four overs in the second match in Mumbai only made matters easier for the selectors to recalled Mishra.
Mishra admitted that being constantly overlooked was disappointing, but said he never let that affect his game and is happy to finally get the nod.
“Every time when you know that the selectors think you could be an option, yet you fail to make it to the team, it does hurt and it is human to feel bad. But I have never let that hamper my game. I have always come back the next day and given my 100 per cent, be it while training or playing a match,” Mishra told MAIL TODAY. “I am happy that I finally got my chance and the hard work that I have put in has paid off. Honestly, I have never really paid much heed to selection matters. My job is to perform and stake a claim for a spot in the national team. After that it is up to the selectors,” he said.
Mishra celebrated the call-up to the national ODI team by hitting his first double hundred (202*) that helped Haryana earn three points from the game against Karnataka. Not known to be much of a batsman, Mishra confesses that he has worked on this aspect of his game.
“It doesn’t help to be a one- dimensional cricketer nowadays. So I have put in extra hours at the batting nets and was really pleased that my knock helped Haryana get three points against Karnataka,” he said.
Mishra feels that he won’t be under any extra pressure if given an opportunity against Pakistan in the ODI series.
“An Indo- Pak encounter is always a high-voltage one and this one wouldn’t be any different. But I wouldn’t be under any extra pressure as I know my job well,” he said.