Amit Mishra, the Delhi Daredevils legspinner who currently leads the wickets tally for IPL 2010, is motivated to continue his good form despite missing out on a spot in the Indian side for the World Twenty20.
"I would be lying if I say I was not expecting a berth in the World Twenty20 squad," Mishra told the Times of India. "I have been doing well, but then I can't control certain things. In fact, if anything I am motivated to do even better. There are a couple of counties who have offered me a pro contract. If I get permission from the BCCI, I may just go and play for them."
Mishra has been in and out of the Indian side in recent times, sharing the second spinner's spot with Pragyan Ojha and Piyush Chawla. Mishra's bowling has received its share of criticism, but the bowler remains focused on his strengths. "See, there are a lot of people who say that Mishra is too slow, he should play domestic cricket a little more, he is this, he is that. Sometimes, I do get affected by all this. But then there are the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Sehwag and Dhoni who have advised me a lot.
"Sehwag cited his own example and said that I should continue doing things which I have done [well] to get a place in the Indian team. Others advised me to be patient and keep working on my game, but I guess it is important to be thick-skinned when you are playing for India," Mishra said.
Mishra has often bowled with the new ball during the IPL, and met with success. "I was always mentally prepared to open the bowling as at times we had to take the pace off the ball. If you ask me, the high-point of this IPL, it would have to be the manner in which I dismissed Jacques Kallis with a googly. It was a planned dismissal and gave me immense satisfaction.
"I bowled a googly because Kallis has this habit of going over the top on the off-side and I was just trying to target the gap between his bat and pad. You can say I got lucky," Mishra said.
Mishra and his Delhi captain, Gautam Gambhir, go back a long way, having played together at various levels in their preparatory years. "Yeah, Gautam is my best friend. We learnt our cricket together, grew up together and share a lot both on and off the field. But he is extremely aggressive and if anyone thinks that being his friend means that I can get away with a below par show, it is absolutely wrong. He is a kind of cricketer and you can check this with anyone who has played with him, who will drop me if he thinks that I don't fit the bill," Mishra said.