Mithun hopes for improved showing

Paceman looks to senior mate Vinays guidance

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Abhimanyu Mithun has had a mixed bag in the two seasons of the Indian Premier League he has featured in so far, but the Karnataka paceman hopes to script a turnaround this season.

 Abhimanyu Mithun during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s practice session on Saturday. DH PHOTO

The soft-spoken bowler need not look beyond his Karnataka skipper R Vinay Kumar for inspiration. Vinay, one of the more sought after bowlers in the IPL, has also been the guide that Karnataka seamers look up to within the State set-up, and Mithun is obviously more than happy to have his senior mate back in the Challengers’s fold.

It wouldn’t be exaggerating to state that Mithun had missed that comfort factor of having Vinay in the side after the latter was snapped up by the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala last year. Now that the Davangere lad is back ‘home’, Mithun can seek advice from Vinay.

“It helps (me) in a lot of ways,” said Mithun on the sidelines of a practice session at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Saturday. “With Vinay coming back into the team it will help because he has guided me when I started playing cricket (for the State). Working with him and other international players, and picking their brains on how they prepare ahead of a tournament will also help me.”

From playing one match in 2010 to putting on a decent show in 2012 in the mega event, there has been a steady rise in Mithun’s graph but the bowler would do with little more consistency. “I have learnt a lot on how to bowl in this format. I have an idea on how to bowl in T20 format and make a mark in the IPL. Compared to last year, I have lot more confidence and I am bowling well in the nets. I have got lot more control, so hopefully I can do well this time. This year, I have played a lot more one-day tournaments compared to last year and I came up with an idea on how to approach the game. I did well for the State in the shorter format, so I am confident of doing well,” he remarked.

In the previous edition, Mithun relied on running in hard and hitting the deck harder. But the strategy didn’t yield much success for the pacer, who bagged just five wickets from twelve games.

“They (RCB management) have not yet told me about my role in the team,” said Mithun when asked as to what he expected in this tournament. “I didn’t do that well last year even though I played quite a few matches. This year they have told me that I would get to play a lot more matches if I do well, and I am confident that I can perform well this time. I bowled a few slower balls in the Champions League and got wickets, so I have focussed on my slower ones. I am confident that I will be able to use them well in the IPL. I will be a different bowler with the variations,” he pointed out.

It was a big moment for Mithun when he was called up for the Indian Test squad’s tour of Australia, but the seamer did not get to play in any of the matches. He, however, insisted that he had learnt a lot in that time. “Though I did not get to play for two months, I learned a lot under (then bowling coach) Eric Simmons and Duncan Fletcher. It was a very good tour for me in terms of learning about my bowling,”Mithun noted.

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