Jamaica: Leg-spinner Amit Mishra may not have taken many wickets in the first Test but he says he played his role well by creating pressure on the West Indies batsmen from the one end.
Mishra took two wickets in the first innings and one in the second while off-spinner R Ashwin claimed seven wickets when the hosts followed on as India recorded a massive win by an innings and 92 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
“All we can do is try and bowl well, and that is what I am trying to do. Getting wickets is not in your hands. Sometimes partnerships build up and you have to create pressure from either end.
“So I tried doing that from one end, while the others were picking wickets from the other end, fast bowlers in the first innings and then Ashwin in the second. My role at that time was to keep up the pressure and keep bowling. Hopefully, I can take a few more wickets in the next match,” said the Haryana leg-spinner, who also scored a half-century in India’s first innings.
“While batting with Ashwin, we added a 100-plus partnership and we could get 550-plus. So that put added pressure on the West Indies. As I said, it was a collective effort and I am very satisfied with what I did in the first Test. At this moment, we have the momentum and everything is going well. We just have to build on it going forward,” he added.
Mishra said the team was on a high after taking lead but they need not take the foot off the pedal.
“We feel highly motivated after that win. It was a collective effort and we did well all around, in batting, bowling, fielding and holding catches, everywhere. But we need to forget all that now and totally concentrate on the next match. For us the effort now is in moving on from that win and yet continuing to do well in the coming match and remainder of the series,” said Mishra.
It was a Test of personal highs for the leg-spinner as well, getting picked ahead of Ravindra Jadeja as the second spinner, then scoring a rare Test half-century and later helping take important wickets of the West Indies’ tail-enders in both innings.
Talking about his role in getting the tail out quickly, he said, “Sometimes you can get the main batsmen out but the tail can wag and play longer. So it becomes tough to get them out because you are concentrating on the main batsmen, and the last 3-4 wickets keep on playing. But we had discussed that in the dressing room, and then it was decided that we would look to bowl wicket-taking deliveries at them so that runs couldn’t be scored easily either.”
“And the best thing is that those plans worked out well. When you play attacking cricket, you try to be aggressive and the mentality changes. We are always trying to take wickets and we talk about that more in the dressing room, and not just containing the batsmen,” Mishra said.