Indian spinner Amit Mishra acknowledged that his performance in the first Test against England at Rajkot left a lot to be desired, but vowed for a better show if given the opportunity in the next Test at Visakhapatnam.
“I wouldn’t say I bowled very well. It did take time for me to get my rhythm, especially since I was playing a Test after a long time. I was at the bench for two Tests in the West Indies and then sat out in the New Zealand Test series," Mishra said in an interview to BCCI.TV.
The leg-spinner led the Indian bowling attack admirably in the recently-concluded ODI series against New Zealand in the absence of the frontline spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, taking 15 wickets in five matches, including a match-winning fifer in the last match of the series. But Mishra said transitioning from ODIs to Tests wasn't easy.
It was a tough Test match for the bowlers overall at Rajkot, with England piling on over 500 runs in their first innings and 260/3 in the second. The Indian spinners, who were expected to call the shots, struggled with hardly any assistance from the pitch.
Mishra said that the pitch was slow and difficult to bowl on, adding that it would have been a lot more exciting had there been more pace in the wicket.
The leg-spinner managed to get just three wickets in the match and went for 158 runs, averaging over four an over in both the innings, which is a bit high by Test standards.
He accepted that the first innings didn’t go his way, but that he began to get into rhythm in the second innings when the pitch started to help the spinners a bit. The leggie hoped that he would be able to carry the rhythm into the second Test, saying that he confidence he gained after the ODI fifer against the Kiwis would stand him in good stead.
India escaped with a draw at Rajkot, after they were reduced to 132/6 in the second innings, chasing an improbable 310 for victory on the fifth day. Captain Virat Kohli then strung together a partnership with Jadeja to save India the blushes.
Mishra said there was a bit of pressure but they were confident of batting out the day. He reserved special praise for Kohli and Jadeja.
He then said that the result of the match could have been different if India could have put pressure on England by picking wickets at the top. He noted that it was important to bowl in the right areas and make the batsmen commit errors, but while the Indians tried their best, the Englishmen countered them well.
Drawing attention to the positives from Rajkot, Mishra said India would take confidence from this Test into the next.
"We replied well to their 500 plus score and we played positive cricket. We will try to do well in the next match," Mishra told BCCI.TV.