While much of the focus ahead of the second Test in Kanpur is on the nature of the pitch, the Indian legspinner Amit Mishra has defended his disappointing outing in Ahmedabad. Mishra finished with figures of 1 for 203 from 58 overs, adding pressure to his chances of playing in Kanpur, but he has put the blame on a dead track and a lack of match practice.
"You cannot do much on a dead track like the one at Motera. The pitch there had nothing for the bowlers," he told the Asian Age. "As everyone saw even a world class bowler like Muttiah Muralitharan was struggling to pick up wickets there.
"Although I have been travelling with the team, I haven't had a long bowl in a match over the last month. I lacked a bit of match practice but after bowling 58 overs in the last Test I am starting to find my rhythm."
Mishra made his Test debut last year, and impressed right away with a five-for against Australia in Mohali. However, he has not replicated that success in five Tests since. The third spinner behind Mishra and Harbhajan Singh is the left-armer Pragyan Ojha, though it is not certain whether Indian will pick him due to the absence of many left-hand batsmen in Sri Lanka's line-up.
Mishra, 26, felt the team management was confident in his ability. "I am not worried about my position in the team," he said. "I don't believe that I am doing anything wrong with my bowling and the team backs me to bounce back soon."
The venue for the second Test is Kanpur's Green Park, where the last Test played there was over inside three days on a shocking pitch, prompting a warning from the ICC. It has since been relaid, which has prompted speculation of spin playing a key role after a run fest on a pancake track in Ahmedabad. "I haven't played a first-class match at this venue in the last two years, so I don't know much about the surface," said Mishra. "The team had a look at the pitch in the morning and believe it looks completely different from the Motera track. I can only hope that it will provide more assistance to the bowlers on the fourth and fifth days at least."