India's spinners have accounted for 47 out of 50 South African wickets in the Test series so far but leg-spinner Amit Mishra is a little disappointed that debate on nature of pitches has undermined the good performances of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and him.
Asked if they have got less credit than what they deserved, Mishra was frank with his reply.
"Yes, we have not been given due credit with so much talk about the pitch. Our achievements should have been highlighted more and talked about. Our home conditions have been like this for last 15 years and it is not from today. When we went to Sri Lanka, we got turning tracks there and bowled well," the hurt was palpable in Mishra's voice as he spoke to mediapersons.
"I thought if the spinners are bowling well, then at least praise them for doing well. It is not that spinners got wickets only because of these pitches. We also have done well outside the country," 33-year-old Mishra said.
Mishra feels that it is South Africa's technique, rather lack of it, against spinning deliveries that did them in.
"Like we will get bounce outside sub-continent, it is a given that there will be more turn on offer when teams come to India. It is all about adaptability. They need to do their homework and improve their batting technique on pitches that offer turn. I believe they are under a lot of pressure because we have not given them boundary balls," reasoned Mishra, who has seven wickets from two games compared to Jadeja's 16 and Ashwin's 24.
However Mishra is happy that he has skipper Virat Kohli's backing even in testing times.
"He is very positive and always gives good tips about how to get a particular player out. The best part about his captaincy is that he supports irrespective of how you bowl. He supports me in the manner I want him to support," Mishra was effusive in his praise.
(REOPENS DEL 38) Mishra effected Hashim Amla's dismissal in the second innings of the third Test which triggered a collapse.
He revealed that he had asked Kohli to give him a short spell. "During that stand (Amla-Du Plessis), Virat came to me and I told him that I feel that I can get a wicket. (Maine Virat ko bola ki main tujhe wicket nikalke doonga). I will get a wicket for you. I thought my varieties will work. I have always believed that bowling a short spell and getting a wicket or two is better than striving wicket-less for 20 overs," said Mishra. "The delivery with which I got Hashim Amla in Nagpur is my second best after the one with which I got AB de Villiers out in Mohali second innings. That was more crucial as they had many wickets and the target was not too big," Mishra added. Mishra also did not agree that the team management has less trust in him as he is invariably the last among the troika to be summoned for bowling. "I do not think there is any lack of trust. In Sri Lanka, many times, I was being brought into the attack first. It is all about the conditions. Yes, I was dropped in Bangalore but I agree with the team management's decision that team required an all-rounder to make it batting heavy," Mishra reasoned. The Haryana cricketer feels that it is the trust and bonding he shares with Ashwin and Jadeja which has been key to the success. "For a winning recipe, it is very important to understand each other's games and trust each other," he added. If India wins the Test series 3-0, they will move up to No 2 ICC World Test rankings. Questioned, if Indian team will have extra motivation, Mishra replied, "You don't need extra motivation to play for India. We have the passion and hunger to win and it shows on the field. We are always giving our hundred percent.