Mishra: India are not weak against spin


India spinner Amit Mishra has denied that his team's batsmen are weak against spin bowling ,despite evidence to the contrary in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, saying a match situation can put pressure on anyone.

India were in a winning position for much of the Test, and needed 176 runs to win in the fourth innings, but were bamboozled by a Rangana Herath spin masterclass seven-fer and lost by 63 runs instead.

Mishra said: "I don't think that Indian batsmen struggle against spin, in fact all our batsmen are among the best against spin. Whenever we bowl at them even at nets, it doesn't look like that at all.

"What happens instead is that sometimes you lose one or two wickets under pressure. Anyone can make mistakes under pressure but I don't think there is any lack of skill against spin."

Another Sri Lankan who did a lot of damage in Galle was Dinesh Chandimal, whose second innings century ensured the lead for the hosts, and while it didn't appear to be enough, it did the job in the end.

Mishra said India would be paying much closer attention to Chandimal come the second Test in Colombo this week, and would be developing a plan to thwart him if he gets going again.

He said: "We have seen his videos and we will definitely discuss more about him in the team meeting. We will discuss how to bowl at him (if he tries a similar approach again).

"Fields will be set accordingly and the idea will be to try and restrict him to playing as few shots as possible and build as much pressure as we can. We will keep attacking him."

As for his own efforts, Mishra took 2/20 and 3/61 in the match, back in the side after four years out. He was pleased with his performance, saying he'd been working hard on his variations while away from the team.

Mishra continued: "Yes, I was a bit anxious in Galle because I was playing after four years. There was a little bit of pressure but I knew I had worked very hard on my bowling.

"All the players in the team were supporting me, especially Virat. After each ball, he was supporting and so were the coaches. Everyone gave me so much confidence that I didn't feel I was playing after four years. I think I bowled well in that match.

"While away from the team, I worked on the feedback from different people that I am slow in the air. I spoke to my coaches and asked them at what pace should I bowl here.

"And whatever variations I have brought in my bowling, it's showing and I have worked hard on my bowling over the last year."