Kanpur: Making traditional leg-spin look attractive and effective in the opening ODI against South Africa, India's Amit Mishra is keen to hold on to his ODI spot after an impressive return to the limited-overs field here.
Mishra made his presence felt in the five-run loss against the visitors on Sunday with the all-important wickets of Hashim Amla and David Miller. The Delhi-born player, who has made a place for himself in the Test squad, now wants to become an ODI regular as well. Before the match at Green Park, Mishra last played an ODI against West Indies last year.
"It is a great feeling to come back into the ODI side and straightaway put up a good bowling performance," Mishra told BCCI.TV.
"From here on I would only look to better my performances if I get a chance in the forthcoming ODIs. I feel whenever you play for India you need to have self confidence. Irrespective of the fact that you are taking wickets or not; the most important thing is to bowl well and pitch the ball in the right areas.
"I believe I am bowling well at the moment and I am enjoying every bit of it. I am looking to take as many wickets as possible at the moment and bowl according to the match situation," he added.
Mishra did his bit for the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side as he picked up two wickets in his 10-over spell, giving away just 47 runs. The 32-year-old player said that he worked to a plan that worked well for him.
"I made a conscious effort to flight the ball and mix the deliveries. I didn't want the batsmen to settle and get used to a particular type of delivery. The aim was to keep mixing it up and I believe I was successful in it to some extent," he said.
Mishra cleaned up a dangerous-looking Amla (37) in the 24th over with a straight on faster one and the South African run-machine saw the ball brush his pads to crash on to the stumps. Mishra said that aiming at Amla's weakness was his target.
"We know that Hashim Amla plays a lot on the back foot.
My aim was to bowl a straight line to him and get the ball to brush his pads or get him out bowled.
"That is exactly what happened during the match. I tossed up a few to him and got the ball to spin. But then, after a lot of spinning deliveries I surprised him with my straighter one. He got beaten and I got him bowled," Mishra said.
Getting the dangerous Miller back in the pavilion was also crucial as Mishra got the hard-hitting batsman stumped on 13.
Talking about that dismissal, he said, "I knew Miller would try to put pressure on me and try to hit me for runs.
But my plan was to keep it tight to him and not give him any runs. Luckily he stepped out and I bowled the perfect delivery that also spun well and led to an easy stumping."
Even skipper AB de Villiers wasn't able to score much against the veteran spinner and was kept quite during Mishra's overs en route to his unbeaten 104.
"The bowling plan to AB was simple - not to allow him to dominate you or let him play the big shots.
"I knew for a fact that he would keep trying to go for the big shots but my endeavour was to bowl a good line and not give away any loose deliveries. He kept waiting for a loose ball from my side but I never gave him an opportunity to go big on me," he said.
His efforts though went in a losing cause after India choked while chasing 304 as they finished on 298 for seven.
"It would have been great had we won the match. Next time as a team we will try to rectify the errors that we made in this ODI. In a way this loss will help us to understand the areas of concern going into the next game. We will look to plan better and with more plans to get crucial wickets at certain junctures of the game," said Mishra.