Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 November 24, 2014

Mithun steps up with lethal yorkers


Yorkers. The key for a pace bowler to succeed in limited-overs cricket. Time and again, pace bowlers have showed that a yorker - well-directed or otherwise - can swing the game either way. Abhimanyu Mithun displayed in Ahmedabad on Sunday how to turn a game in his team's favour by executing perfect yorkers consistently.

In the semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Bengal required 22 runs off the last three overs. Subhajit Banerjee and Saurasish Lahiri managed a boundary each in the first four balls of Mithun's penultimate over to bring the equation down to 13 off 14. Then, the lanky bowler found his key weapon going.

The last seven balls he bowled - most of them being yorkers - fetched Mithun three wickets for just two runs to keep Karnataka's dream run on the domestic circuit alive.

"The situation was such that we required wickets to get back into the game. And the ball was reversing as well, so I just backed myself to bowl yorkers and I am delighted it worked," Mithun told ESPNcricinfo from Ahmedabad on the eve of Karnataka's final against Punjab.

Bowling yorkers, especially in the death overs, doesn't come easily. But Mithun was confident since he had worked on it. "I have been working on it for a while now, and I had delivered it consistently during the league stage, so I went for it knowing that I wouldn't miss the length," he said.

Mithun's ability to hit the block hole in the death overs augurs well for Indian cricket since many Indian pacers have failed to hit the right lengths in international matches. Perhaps Mithun's ability to do it again and again will help him get back on the selectors' radar once again.

After impressing on placid tracks in Sri Lanka during his debut Test series in 2010, Mithun has hardly been persisted with by the national selectors. The last time he featured in India's squad was two years ago, when he was roped in as a replacement for his Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar during the home T20s against England. And finishing with an impressive haul of 41 wickets in last season's Ranji Trophy also did not earn him a call for the India A tours earlier in the year.

Mithun admitted that he being overlooked by the selectors has been "difficult to deal with." He couldn't have asked for a better person than Vinay to have helped him remain positive in such a situation. Vinay has spent more years in the domestic circuit than Mithun in an attempt to play international cricket.

"As a captain, as a senior player, he [Vinay] has been a great help," Mithun said. "He has helped me in thinking of how I can keep improving myself and delivering for the team rather than thinking about things that are not in my hands. Many times, he walks up to me voluntarily and discussed about many things, which is great."

The duo's partnership has flourished on the field and has been a key factor in Karnataka continuing to dominate domestic circuit since last season. While they achieved the triple of Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup and Vijay Hazare Trophy last year, Vinay's team is now one step away from retaining their one-day title. If Mithun and Vinay repeat their heroics with the bat - their unbeaten 46-run partnership for the last wicket against Bengal was instrumental in Karnataka setting up a respectable target - and the ball, Harbhajan Singh's Punjab will find it difficult to win the title.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arun on November 25, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Mithun has been performing consistently for Karnataka.It was unfortunate that he had to deal with the Sri Lankan conditions in test cricket.However,he had his share of ODI matches and had limited success.Also his IPL performances did not back his selection to the shorter format at-least.The guy is tall and looks tall which is a perfect build of a fast bowler.But with this physique it is important to hit 140+ on a regular basis.Moreover,he gives an impression that he is very casual which is not that a typical fast bowler in international cricket is potrayed.His run-up and energy levels does not create a tensed atmosphere for the batsmen.If given a chance in future,he should show the aggressiveness and potray that he is hungry to bowl fast and take wickets.Hope he is not made to play a test in Sri Lanka or India the next time he is picked.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    Completely agree with Noori Khan. Yorkers need to be bowled at pace. I imagine Umesh,Shami and Aaron bowling yorkers at 140+. The role model should be Malinga who can bowl 5/6 yorkers.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    I think rayudu will really struggle in Aus condition to clear long boundaries . Besides rayudu will face difficulty to clear long boundary in aus .Neither he has exp to play in bouncy pitches . He has strike rate in seventies and he will not able to accelerate his inningg in aus Dhawan many problem is his temperament. He has the skill and can be a match winner .M still doubtful of rahnane how he will play in odi .he has the talent but he need little more time at international level . I will like to see : K l rahul robin and kedar jadhav . Robin has mature in last one yr has perform at domestic level as well as Ipl. Rahul great talent hope he get chance in test match .kedar is gem of player .love to see in Indian team . But i do not think we should draft jadhav directly for the world cup . mY team will be like this : Robin dhawan rohit kohli raina dhoni binny patel aaron shami jadhav . Bhuvi backup for our 3 quikies .Jadeja backup for binny n patel . K l rahul back up for robin n dhawa

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    Looking forward the next world cup is in Aus . We need allrounder who can bowl medium and can bat . I can see binny can play major role in world cup . Instead of playing Ashwin or jadeja combination we can play binny and akshar patel both are handy with bat we need gud genuine hitter at 7 and 8 .Besides that patel is modern type of spinner who is bowling far better then jadeja . Binny can play the role of bhuvi swing the ball and we can play with three quickes who have killer instinct to take wicket .My pick will be shami aaron and yadav . Shami can bowl in depth . Umesh bowl welll in srilanka series and given us early break through . Aaron can be deadly in aus pitches he has pace and have gud bouncer as a weapon .So my team would like this 5 batsman dhoni binny patel aaron shami umesh . Now who will be our batsman suresh raina kohli rohit sharma are the three who are genuinely match winner .

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Wow great people appreciating for bowling yorkers at 125 kmp Vinay kumar was bowling at 120 kmp and he is fast bowler .Neither there was reverse swing . Thats showing our domestic level .Ya I am not saying speed is everything but it matters lot .Look aus domestic level most of bowlers bowl at above 135 km and genuinely fast yorker. Think how many aus bowler bowl above 135 . They are plenty .CUmmins pattinson starc johnson harris siddle counter nile richardson hazlewood .... list continues . i think there will be 15 bowler .India found only 3 faster bowler after almost a decade .In 2003 srinath nehra and zaheer was deadly combination and we done well in 2003 .If we have to win test matches outside we have to prepare fast track in India and encourage our fast pacer bowler to bowl fast .Umesh aaron and shami are gud find .Shukla abu nechim mithun(may be) pankaj singh(due to exp in domestic exp) should be encouarage to play in english county .

  • Ashok on November 25, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    You may or may not play for India, but a win in a National level cricket tournament is beyond the reach of most, so please enjoy it without worrying about what comes next.

  • P Subramani on November 25, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    He has always been very good from the time he started. If there was no speed gun I am sure he would have been playing for India on a regular basis. He is a strong lad and can easily hit the late 130s consistently with a bit of careful coaching. I think it is about proper transfer of weight that he needs to work on. He should be selected for the limited formats to begin with.

  • Android on November 25, 2014, 1:19 GMT

    all the best it once again this year..:-)

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    Rejection is not a failure.... keep going mate ... there is a saying.. "every dog has its day".....and yes... "Hard works pays".....

  • sid on November 24, 2014, 23:22 GMT

    Last year he took 41 wickets, this year he will knock'em down in bundles. Well done Mithun! Forget those national selectors. Let's win 5 more Ranji Trophies. They are more fun!

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