India news June 13, 2011

Mithun aims to prove himself

ESPNcricinfo staff

Abhimanyu Mithun, the India fast bowler, is back in the Test squad after injuries ruled Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth out of the tour of the West Indies, and is hoping that this latest opportunity will give him the chance to establish himself in the squad. Mithun made his Test debut against Sri Lanka last July - he replaced Zaheer who missed that series with an injury as well - but was then overlooked in favour of Jaidev Unadkat for India's tour of South Africa at end of 2010.

"It feels good to be picked again," the 21-year-old Mithun told the Times of India after a practice stint on Saturday. "I did expect to go to South Africa but ... I am hoping to get a chance and prove myself again, like I did on my debut in Sri Lanka."

Mithun took six wickets at an average of 62 in three Tests against Sri Lanka, similar figures to Ishant Sharma, who took seven wickets at 61.71. He was initially disappointed about not going to South Africa, but said he was lucky to have received good advice from a number of people who told him to concentrate on playing for the love of the game rather than obsess over not playing for India. In particular, he gave credit to Sanath Kumar, the Karnataka coach over the past two seasons, according to the newspaper.

"Initially I felt sad and at the net sessions that followed I did lose some concentration, focus and so on. Fortunately for me, a lot of people spoke to me and advised me well. Everyone encouraged me, told me I am a good bowler.

"But the best advice I got was when I was told that when I started playing cricket I did so as I loved the game. At that point I wasn't thinking of playing for India and so why think about it now, I was asked. That set me thinking and slowly I regained my confidence and got back to normal."

When asked whether Test cricket was too much pressure to handle, Mithun said he actually found it easier than playing domestic cricket as it wasn't his job to lead the attack. "I found it easier in the Tests. There I was a rookie, I only had to look after my bowling, for which to the seniors were very much around to help. I was freer in a way. But when I got back to first class cricket, it was very different. The expectations had gone up and I was looked upon as someone who will get wickets whenever I bowled.

"That was something I found it tough to deal with initially but slowly got used to that as well and started to enjoy my bowling once again."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 16, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    The only chance he got was on the dead pitches of SL. He should have been picked for SA tour. But now here WI also the pitches are not so good for swing. Of course better than SL. I would've prefer him for Eng.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Mithun has the ablitiy of becoming a regular pacer in the national squad. The way he performed in SL is awsome for a debutant with Ishant who is not a big gun in Tests. Also the way he batted and his partnerships with Laxman and Ishant to save India is pretty good. 120 runs in 4 innings & 6 wickets @ 62 in 4 matches is really awsome for a pacer during debut. Well done Mithun. Keep going in the current Windies tour and book ur permanent berth in the squad.

  • ashok on June 15, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Test bowling requires swing and ability to take wickets... there is nothing in the pace and courage of the bowler... even India can win tests with Spinners and no pace bowlers, its all in thinking and bowling on the pitch... The old Pathan is needed who can swing the ball like spin and burst in through with wickets...

  • Raghuveer on June 15, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    I saw him bowl in the IND/SL series in 2010. Amazing fighter... batted well and hung in there. He bowled very decently and showed a lot of fight on the flat tracks. I was very surprised that he didn't get picked to go to SA! Don't worry Mithun, You'll do well!!

  • Aswin on June 14, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    @madhuri.. Don't compare mithun vs irfan pathan...both r gud and different in their own way.. If v consider irfan performance in IPL , he is a big waste ....useless than mithun.. So both r different ..and even yusuf shud b shown door...allready he hasnt utilised any chance team india

  • madhuri on June 14, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    USELESS FELLOW MITHUN IS....bring back Irfan Pathan!!!

  • Lakmal on June 14, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Yes This guy is full of courage.I witnessed hisbowling innings in SriLanka.He took 4/123 which was quite a good performance on the flat track.The BCCI did a vast blunder by not selecting him for the SA test series.Unadkat is a rubbish bowler.Mithun is way better ,and given a proper chance , he might surpass great Zaheer khan.

  • Harish on June 14, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    I am surprised. According to a few here, the 'Real-Deals' are uncovered during IPL. Let's face it, the IPL is a circus and the pitches were sub-standard.

  • Ishaan on June 14, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    some bowlers* Exactly his comments..u got it spot on and understand cricket and fast bowlers while most others who posted negatively ABT MITHUN DON'T!

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    I liked him when he has given 100% with both bat & ball, bit fighting character. Still I'm not sure whether he is ready or not. Though he bowled in flat pitches in SL, he doesn't stock delivery and he was very one dimensional, just bringing the ball inwards. Hope he had added some more wicket taking balls since then. If we go by the domestic season records to select seamers, then Praveen Kumar should have got the chance much before the others [umesh, unatkad and Mithun]. Good luck Mithun. Hope no body says since Srikanth from south india, he selected Mithun over Umesh and unadkat:)

  • No featured comments at the moment.