A big smile had lit up Amit Mishra’s face when his coach Sanjay Bharadwaj told him he would make it to the ODI squad for the Champions Trophy a few days back.
On Sunday, the coach’s words turned prophetic as the leg spinner made it to the squad for next month’s triangular one-day series in Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in South Africa. “I am glad that my hard work has paid off,” an elated Mishra told the Hindustan Times.
Mishra, 26, has found his feet in Tests, but has yet to make a name for himself in ODIs.
He played the last of his three ODIs against South Africa in 2003.
His performances in the Indian Premier League as well as the Emerging Players’ Tournament, however, seem to have convinced the selectors of his ability to hold his own in the shorter format.
“The IPL has boosted my career. I have proved that I can pick up wickets and be effective even in the shorter format,” Mishra said.
“My family and friends have always boosted my confidence. Then Gambhir, Sehwag, Dhoni, Harbhajan and Yuvraj have always been there to lend me a helping hand.”
Mishra knows that Sri Lanka poses a big challenge to spinners.
“They play spinners really well. I will first need to find, and then exploit, their weaknesses,” he said.