As usual, Amit Mishra has struck again. This time with flying colours. He has successfully equalled a world record yesterday while playing against Zimbabwe. Now he has become the second bowler in the history of cricket to grab 18 wickets in a bilateral series. Mishra took 6/48 yesterday, which is also his career best performance.
He has equaled the record of veteran Indian bowler Javagal Srinath who had attained it while playing against New Zealand in 2003. The difference is that Srinath achieved this in a series of 7 ODIs, whereas Mishra has made this record in a 5-match ODI series.
Mishra’s wonderful bowling spell helped India in achieving a clean sweep over Zimbabwe in the 5-match series. In an impressive clean sweep, playing under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, Team India won the first ODI by six wickets, second by 58 runs, third by seven wickets, fourth by a huge margin of 9 wickets and the last one yesterday with seven wickets in hand. By giving his career best performance, Mishra bagged 6 wickets in only 8.5 overs, while giving away 48 runs.
It was a magical spell by an unfortunate bowler who has rarely featured in the regular squad of the Indian team! Yesterday, he became the man of the match for the second time during this series. In the third ODI also, he had performed well when he took 4 wickets to become the man of the match. Before this, Mishra’s career-best performance was 4 wickets for 31 runs.
So far so good – but the matter of the fact is that Amit Mishra has got the image of a bowler who is impressive only against the weak batting orders such as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
Another fact is that he will be completing 31 years of age in the month of November 2013; therefore his best years have apparently already gone. Moreover, today there is no dearth of talented young bowlers in India and there appears no possibility of Mishra getting a regular place unless a slot opens up under dramatic circumstances.
Although Mishra has got a decent number of chances in ODIs and Tests, he could not make the most of these unfortunately. Had he shone against Sri Lanka, England or Australia, perhaps India would have found a long term leg-spin solution.
So, many experts believe that despite his sparkling recent performances, Amit Mishra has got only 3 to 4 years of time left in his career, which too would only be limited to IPL where he has already made a mark as a very dependable bowler. But we must acknowledge his pivotal role in the glorious victory of Team India on a number of occasions nonetheless.
Our good wishes to Amit Mishra for the future and his contribution in Indian cricket will always be remembered with pride.