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Virat Kohli's trust helped Amit Mishra excel: Narendra Hirwani

Mishra returned to the Test fold after four years and the legspinner grabbed his long-awaited opportunity with both hands with 15 wickets on the tour of Sri Lanka.

Cricketnext Staff |September 3, 2015, 2:22 PM IST
Virat Kohli's trust helped Amit Mishra excel: Narendra Hirwani

Amit Mishra returned to the Test fold after a gap of four years and the legspinner grabbed his long-awaited opportunity with both hands on the tour of Sri Lanka.

Justifying the selectors' decision, Mishra ended the three-match Test series on a high, claiming 15 wickets at an economy of 2.84, which has made former India legspinner Narendra Hirwani happy.

After Mishra's magnificent show, his mentor Hirwani gave the credit of Mishra's success to the trust skipper Virat Kohli, who led the side to a historic Test series win on the Lankan soil after 22 years, had in the bowler.

"A captain needs to show confidence in a legspinner's ability. Some captains prefer a safer approach, while others love taking risk. Virat belongs to the second category," Hirwani told Times of India on Wednesday.

"I have seen how Virat has used [legspinner] Yajuvendra Chahal in the IPL as an attacking option. Now with Ravi Shastri part of the team management, legspinners are back in the scheme of things.

"Shastri too likes leggies. He was my first captain and my best performances - both in Tests and one-dayers - came under Shastri," Hirwani added.

Mishra proved to be the perfect foil for offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin whose tally of 21 wickets earned him the Man-of-the-Series awar. Ashwin and Mishra together took 36 of the 60 Sri Lankan wickets in the three-Test series that India won 2-1 in Colombo.


The former legspinner feels Mishra bowled with more freedom under new captain Kohli, who took charge after Dhoni hung his Test whites after a dismal Australia tour last year.

"When a bowler is tense, it reflects in his performance. Here, a captain plays a huge role in easing out that tension. Mishra isn't doing anything different. He is just bowling with more confidence because of the faith the captain is showing in him," Hirwani told the newspaper.

"If you look at the best leg-spinners around the world - like Shane Warne, Abdul Qadir or Anil Kumble, they always had the captain's backing. Qadir became a different bowler once Imran Khan started backing him. Warne always played under some great captains like Alan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh, so has been the case with Kumble too," Hirwani added.


Hirwani said Mishra was frustrated at being "in and out of the team" and then at not being considered for four years.

"He was a bit frustrated being in and out of the team. So, I only asked him to focus on his bowling rather than looking at different things which were not in his control. He has got nearly 15 years' of experience, so he knew what it takes to be successful at that level. It was just a question of the team showing confidence in his abilities. Kohli and the team management are doing just that," he said.



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