Kolkata: Legspinner Amit Mishra is determined to fill Anil Kumble's shoes, provided he gets an opportunity. After Kumble's retirement in 2008, India's spin woes were compounded by Harbhajan Singh's loss of form. The selectors have tried the legspin trio of Mishra, Piyush Chawla and Rahul Sharma, but none of them has been able to perform consistently at the international level. Mishra, however, said he was now ready for the challenge. "Anilbhai has served Indian cricket for more than 15 years. It's difficult to fill the void overnight. But I'm working hard on my bowling. I will try my best not to let Anilbhai's absence felt," the 29-year-old told PTI in an interview here on Monday. "When I feel the need, I talk to Anilbhai. He has really been a good support. He has been my idol. I am giving my best. Hope I do well by God's grace."
Despite taking a five-for in his debut Test against Australia in 2008-09, Mishra's career graph has not progressed as it should have. "Every sportsperson has ups and downs in life. But I feel the best is yet to come. I am eagerly waiting for an opportunity to come my way," the legspinner said. The Deccan Chargers player, who was the team's leading wicket-taker in IPL 4, is yet to fire this season. He said it was important for him to come up with a good show as his IPL performances can go a long way towards getting him a place in the Indian squad for the World T20 later this year. "Pressure will always be there at this level. But we are used to it. I'm sure our performance will be under scrutiny for the World Twenty20. It would be really nice to make a comeback through a successful outing in IPL."
Mishra further said the team atmosphere is fine despite the spate of defeats and that they were trying to learn from their mistakes. "No doubt we are on a losing streak but we are trying hard. There have been a few mistakes especially in the last few overs of a game. But we are trying our best to sort out the issues. There are a few youngsters who are playing at this level for the first time. But all is not lost. Nothing is impossible. It's Twenty20 after all. I'm looking forward to contribute with fielding, bowling and batting."
The leggie said he was keen to roll his arm over on the slow Eden Gardens wicket. "I had taken four wickets - against South Africa in a 2008-09 Test match - on my last outing here. I'm looking forward to bowl here again. I'm sure it would help my style of bowling," Mishra said.
Deccan Chargers face Kolkata Knight Riders in their return-leg IPL clash here on Tuesday.