It hasn’t been an easy time for Amit Mishra. He was picked in the Indian side on the back of a good IPL, but right through the Champions Trophy and the West Indies tri-series, he didn’t get a look into the playing XI.
Zimbabwe was seen as the acid test for the leg-spinner, who is trying to make a comeback to the Indian team after being dropped in 2011 following India’s forgettable tour of England. And in the first ODI against Zimbabwe on Wednesday, Mishra showed that he is up for the challenge.
He came in to bowl at a time when the Zimbabwe openers V Sibanda and Sikandar Raza had settled in nicely, playing out the difficult phase against the moving ball. Mishra, though, made immediate impact, with his googlies proving to be the most lethal weapon.
The Zimbabweans struggled to pick the googly as he got the wickets of Sibanda and Masakadza in his first spell. Coming back for his second spell, he had Raza who was looking for a century and put the brakes on the Zimbabwe innings.
He didn’t give the ball too much air, got some turn with his leg-breaks, and landed the googly consistently to return with figures of 3-43. Skipper Virat Kohli is likely to give Mishra an extended run in this series and if the Haryana leggie can keep it going, he will be in a position to stake a claim for a Test spot.