Never had any problems bowling with Ashwin, says Amit Mishra

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Bengaluru, Sep 23: Stating that he never had any problems with his partnership with R Ashwin, leg-spinner Amit Mishra is eagerly waiting to bowl with off-spinner against South Africa next month.

Series schedule; Squads

Mishra was picked in both ODI and T20I squads for South Africa series at home. It will be T20Is first with the opener set to be played on October 2 in Dharamsala. After the limited overs matches, India and South Africa will play 4 Tests for Freedom Trophy (Gandhi-Mandela series).

File photo: Ashwin (left) and Mishra

The 32-year-old Mishra, who is part of India's preparatory camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, spoke about his bowling partnership with Ashwin during an interaction with the media today.

"I've played with Ashwin before as well. We've never had any problems with our partnership. The best thing about us is that if we feel something, we share it with each other. Where you can improve, what you can do. Everyone doesn't take wickets every day. So if the other bowler is taking wickets, you need to help build pressure from your end. Our combination has been a very good one," Mishra said on Wednesday (September 23).

Mishra, who played in all 3 Tests against Sri Lanka and set a record in the historic 2-1 series success recently, said it will be a good contest against South Africa.

"Can't say anything about the conditions but there's no doubt it's going to be a challenge. We have a good team too, with everyone performing. It will be a good contest between the teams," Mishra, who took 15 wickets in Sri Lanka series, said.

When asked whether it feels good to have a permanent place in the Indian side, he explained, "This is something for the captain and the management (to decide). Even now it's not that I'm sure that I will play all the matches. But I can definitely say that the way I have been playing recently, I will get a chance to play here.

"I'm very positive in my mind. I'm focusing on where I need to improve. I have improved gradually. I've worked hard on my bowling in the last four-five years."

The series against Sri Lanka was the first for Mishra after 4 years and when asked about it. According to him, being positive helped him to make a comeback.

"There's no doubt everyone is disappointed with being out of the team. I ignored everything negative and worked on improving myself. This is what I did in the last four-five years - work on my batting, my bowling, and my fitness. You got to see the result of this in Sri Lanka," he said.

On whether it is tough to play knowing that you are not guaranteed a spot in the XI, he said, "No professional player should think this way. He should think about how he can improve himself, whether he's in the team or not. This is what I've been doing in the last four-five years, whether I've been in the team or not. If you do this, the negativity goes out."

Mishra revealed that captaining Haryana in domestic circuit had boosted his confidence as a lower-order batsman.

"If your work is helping the team, then naturally your confidence improves. I've been captain of my state team (Haryana) for the last 7-8 years. Whenever I was the captain, I always felt that if we needed a partnership of 70-80 runs, my bowlers should be capable of scoring those runs.

Mishra during a ODI

"With that aim, I started working on my batting and started performing in domestic cricket. When I joined the Indian team, I brought the same quality there.

"Absolutely, there's no doubt (captaincy helps). If you've captained your state team, then you will get that weightage. In the Indian team, both Dhoni and Kohli help every player. The atmosphere in the team is such that we all help each other."

On his variations in pace, he said, "I worked out how fast to bowl on which wicket and to which batsman. Some batsmen play well on slow wickets. So I had to work out what pace would be difficult for a particular batsman to play. I worked on my fitness and strength. Whatever I need in a particular situation, I can bowl that type of delivery."

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