Legspinner Amit Mishra has said he was very pleased with his showing on a difficult track in India's warm-up game against West Indies Cricket Board President's XI in Basseterre. Mishra, who took four wickets in the one innings India bowled in, said the pitch was very slow, making it easier for the batsmen to cope with whatever he threw at them, but he persevered with varying his deliveries and that worked for him.
"I am happy with my performance as bowling on this track was very difficult," Mishra told BCCI.tv. "To get my bowling rhythm back on a slow batting track is a good sign. I was trying to vary my speed and was looking to confuse the batsmen. I didn't want them to know at what speed I was bowling. I was also mixing up my deliveries, bowling straighter ones in between and turning the rest. I am very happy that on a slow wicket I could dismiss four batsmen."
Mishra's 4 for 67 included the wickets of opener Rajendra Chandrika and No. 4 Jermaine Blackwood off consecutive deliveries after the pair had added 122. Mishra said working with India's new coach, Anil Kumble, a legspinner himself, also helped him deal with the conditions. "Anil bhai is with us and his experience is going to matter a lot. He has played here and he kept telling us about the conditions. We will utilise his experience and form a strategy together.
"There were many things that he told me, like my bowling technique, landing and finishing. Looking at the wicket, he told me what are the areas where I can bowl, and the kind of fields that I could set on a slow wicket."
Mishra also had words of praise for the way captain Virat Kohli functions. "Virat Kohli is a positive person and he has created a similar positive environment within the team. He always supports me. There are no boundaries. Whenever I want to share something with him, I am free to express my opinion. He tells me, 'You're a wicket-taking bowler and that is what you must do. You stay positive and stick to your strengths. Do not think about anything else.'"
India are scheduled to play one more warm-up match against the WICB President's XI, a three-day game at the same venue, which starts on July 14. That will be followed by the first Test which begins on July 21 in Antigua.