November 24, 1982, Delhi
Right hand bat
When he burst onto the scene in the early 2000s, Amit Mishra impressed with his classical, attacking legspin, relying mostly on flight and a big legbreak, while surprising batsmen with the odd googly. However, with two giant spinners - Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh - at the peak of their powers, there wasn't a place available for him in India's squad.
Mishra made his international debut in 2003 during an ODI triangular in Bangladesh, but he had to wait until 2008 to get his first go in Tests. That opportunity came after an injury forced Kumble out of the Mohali Test against Australia. Mishra had a dream start to his Test career, becoming the sixth Indian to take a five-wicket haul on debut, foxing the Australians with his variations and finishing the series with 14 wickets from three Tests. With his debut series coinciding with Kumble's last, it was the opening he needed to establish himself as India's first-choice legspinner. But, his inability to extract turn on benign pitches and the lack of accuracy were his failings as other spinners overtook him in the pecking order.
Mishra's struggles in international cricket aside, he has remained a vital cog for the Haryana Ranji side over the years, collecting a bagful of wickets. But, it's his performances in the IPL, where he has been one of the best spinners, and the only bowler to pick up three hat-tricks, that keep him in the limelight. The hat-tricks came for three different teams - Delhi Daredevils (2008), Deccan Chargers (2011) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2013). In 2015, Mishra returned to the team he first played for, with Daredevils paying INR 3.5 crore to secure his services.
A strong display in the 2013 IPL, during which he kept the batsmen guessing with his variations in flight and pace, earned him a call-up for India's ODI squad for the Champions Trophy in England and the tour to Zimbabwe, almost two years after his last international appearance. He didn't disappoint, picking up 18 wickets at 11.61 in five ODIs against Zimbabwe, and equaling Javagal Srinath's record for the most wickets in a bilateral series. Mishra's good form continued into the World T20 the following year in Bangladesh, where he picked up 10 wickets at 14.70, while only conceding 6.68 runs per over, as India adopted a three-spinner strategy and finished runners-up to Sri Lanka.
With younger options thin on the ground, India recalled Mishra to the Test side for their 2015 tour of Sri Lanka. Playing Tests after a four-year gap, he complemented R Ashwin perfectly, picking up 15 wickets in three Tests at 15. The re-emergence of Ravindra Jadeja during the 2015-16 home series against South Africa restricted Mishra's involvement to only two of the four Tests, but he performed creditably on spin-friendly pitches, his seven wickets at 17.28 including the dismissals of AB de Villiers (twice), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy.
Devashish Fuloria and ESPNcricinfo staff
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