Amit Mishra takes five wickets on Test debut

In Sri Lanka, earlier this year, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh were outbowled to a frightening degree by Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis.

Anil Kumble playing the popular new game 'pointing'With their spin bowlers stumbling somewhat and Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma doing as good a job as all four Aussie quicks put together in the first Test, it was tempting to think that maybe India would have been better advised to replace the injured Kumble with a pace bowler.

Three quick bowlers or two spinners?

Over the last few years, India have firmly done away with any pace bowling frailties they once had. This is a nation who’ve had Sourav Ganguly open the bowling before now, which is like having Ashley Giles opening the batting. But these days there are seemingly dozens of young Indian fast bowlers who could do a job in Test cricket. But this would be wrong. This would be against all that Test cricket’s about. When you tour India, you face spin.

It’s not about tradition or anything pointless like that. It’s about the diversity and breadth of the game. Pitches are becoming homogenised and teams are too as a consequence. One of the most fundamentally intriguing elements of cricket is the fact that while on the face of it, you’re playing the same game in England as in India, in reality, entirely different skills are required. Different bowlers will be effective and different batsmen will prosper using different approaches.

India should always have a leg-spinner

Amit Mishra celebrates the tea breakSo it was with a little relief that we saw India had stuck with two spinners and it was with delight that we watched Amit Mishra dismiss half Australia’s batsmen. Philosophical delight that all was well and everyday delight when Michael Clarke got nowhere near the googly.

Mishra is a proper leg-spinner. A conventional, slightly floaty leg-spinner who doesn’t just keep it tight. We’d anticipated Piyush Chawla would appear in the final Test, winning it for India, but we don’t mind him being further down the pecking order if there are other, better leg-spinners on offer.

We can’t say for definite whether Amit Mishra is the better of the two, but from what we’ve seen he’s very good. More importantly, if a side with a spin attack of Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra were to lose a Test in India to a side with a spin ‘attack’ of Cameron White and Michael Clarke, the cricket world would be almost as bad a place as the real world.

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7 Appeals

  1. Jill wake me up when you return to cricket

    October 19, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Now I’m awake and thank you. Many great moments – Michael Clark’s dismissal, Hayden’s scores or lack of them…

    Are England going to be better than Australia at playing Indian spinners in India?

  2. nice one o great king.

    ive seen a bit of chawla and mishra now. they are both very similar in their style of bowling. and im so glad he played and anil was injured. anil has proved to be so in effective against the aussies and basically anyone these days.

    quickish leg spinner irritate the hell out of me. it takes out the beauty of the art in it self.

    i hope mishra and chawla can become good leggie in the future – the world needs a good leggie.

  3. I still cannot fathom why England is not taking Adil Rashid to India.

    Not only does the world need a good leggie, every half-decent team needs a good leggie in India.

    I have only watched a little but Mishra looks like the real deal – but remember that he is 24-25 while Chowla is 20-21 – plenty of time for Chowla to come through.

    Aussies seem utterly decent-spinner-free without Warne and/or MacGill.

  4. For the first time I’m feeling somewhat glad we’re only playing two Tests in India; this lot are starting to look genuinely scary.

    Sharma has Ponting absolutely in his pocket, it’s hilarious. Oh, and Hayden’s series average is now 10.5, which is equally funny. If only I could watch Watson bat without thinking of That Picture, I’d be really enjoying this series.

  5. Will India be the new ATCWC?

    At this rate, I think they might be soon.

    I think

  6. It took the establishment ages to figure out his name…let alone assess his talent.

  7. For years now, Piyush Chawla has masqueraded as an older man by the name of Amit Mishra. His reasoning is simple — the greater the number of alter-egos, the more likely that one of him will be picked. I am glad he are doing well.

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