Spinners deserve applause, says Mishra

'Poor technique behind Proteas' batting collapse'

Spinners deserve applause, says Mishra
Seldom the 22-yard strip has attracted such attention. But in the ongoing Test series between India and South Africa, “designer” pitches have been the flavour of the series.

They have sparked questions on ethics and split opinions in what has turned out to be a never ending, ubiquitous debate. The brouhaha has, undoubtedly, taken the sheen out of India's series victory and fallen like bitter drops in the cup of happiness of India's spinning trio.

India leg-spinner Amit Mishra feels the pricks and admits it, too. It is the pitch, turning from day one, which has emerged the hero; not the spinners who have taken the bulk of wickets in the series. Delhi, which had to battle to retain the hosting rights of the fourth and last Test, has a dead rubber at its hands but it would have its share of spotlight, too.

Just two days before the match, the International Cricket Council has announced that its match referee Jeff Crowe had rated the pitch at Nagpur as “poor” in his report. Crowe’s observation would once again stir the debate on “home advantage” besides intensifying the focus on the track at Delhi.

The chairman of the BCCI pitches and ground committee chairman Daljeet Singh is tight-lipped about how the surface at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium would play while DDCA working chairman and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan would only insist on it being a ”Test match wicket.”

Mishra, meanwhile, felt the spinners, alongwith Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, have not got the due credit with pitch invariably taking the centre-stage. Ashwin is the top wicket-taker in the Test series with 24 wickets, followed by Jadeja (16) with Mishra at fifth place with seven wickets. The 33-year-old felt the bonding and trust between the spinners has been the key to their success.

“I feel our achievements should be highlighted and spoken about. We have not got due credit with so much talk about the pitch. When the spinners are bowling well, then at least praise them. The talk has been about the conditions but our home conditions have been like this for the last 15 years,” Mishra told reporters on Tuesday. “We have done well outside the country also. When we went to Sri Lanka recently, it had the turn and we got the wickets there also. Their batsmen are better players of spin but we won.”

Mishra believes South Africa have perished because of their faulty technique against the turning ball. "I feel their confidence is low. I admit the ball has turned a bit more than normal but if you have a good technique you can play better. Batsmen need to adapt just like the bowlers. We have got them under pressure by keeping a tab on their boundaries,” said Mishra.

Mishra also cherishes the support of captain Virat Kohli, who would be leading the side for the first time on his home ground. “He is very involved and gives us good tips. The best part is that he will support you whether you bowl good or bad. He is positive about everything,” he said.

The Haryana spinner rates his dismissal of AB de Villiers in Mohali as his best in the series followed by the one of Hashim Amla during the second innings of the Nagpur Test.

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