New Delhi: In the second ODI against West Indies, Amit Mishra once again proved his credentials.
Though, in the opening game of the five-match series in Kochi, the leggie proved too expensive, where he leaked 72 runs in his ten overs quota, as India suffered a shameful defeat of 124 runs.
However, Indian skipper MS Dhoni showed enough faith in the spinner and gave him another chance to prove his worth in the next match. Mishra was introduced into the attack in the 21st over, at a time when West Indies were looking solid in their chase and were at 89 for one.
Mishra started off well as he gave mere three runs in his first over. But then Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith started attacking the leggie. By the time he came to bowl his fifth over, he was already being hit for one six apiece by both the batsmen.
In fact, when the tweaker came to bowl his fifth over, Pollard launched him for another huge six over deep mid-wicket. But even then the spinner didn't shy to flight the ball and soon provided his team the crucial breakthrough in the form of Pollard's wicket, who was looking dangerous.
Mishra then bowled two back-to-back maiden overs to put the opposition under pressure. And it worked well for India as the required run-rate shoot up and West Indian batting line-up started crumbling.
Off his last over, Mishra bowled another beauty to send back the in-form batsman Dinesh Ramdin. He ended up with the figures of 40 for two in his stipulated ten overs. The consecutive 16 dot balls that he produced have match winning proportions.
In the post match ceremony, Indian skipper was all praise for the spinner. "Even though the ball was wet, he wasn't scared to flight the ball. Because of that, he was able to get some purchase off the wicket. His spell was very crucial," said Dhoni.
In the absence of regular offie R Ashwin, Mishra proved that he is also in contention for the upcoming World Cup, as far as spinners the spinners are concerned.