IPL 2021: Amit Mishra Brings In Experience & Class To Torment MI Top-Middle Order
Amit Mishra is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL and showed his class and pedigree tormenting the top and middle order of five-time champions Mumbai Indians on Tuesday on a helpful wicket at Chepauk in Chennai. The crafty leg spinner broke the backbone of the MI batting line-up and won the match for the Capitals in the first innings itself.
Mishra came onto bowl within the powerplay and was taken for 10 runs in his first over – the sixth over of the MI innings. Suryakumar Yadav took him for two consecutive boundaries but that did not deter the champion veteran leg spinner.
Rohit Sharma was in full flow when Mishra was reintroduced into the attack in the 9th over. MI had raced to 70 for 2 from 8 overs. The MI captain took the DC spinner for a boundary off the second ball of the over before a bit of magic from Mishra saw the back of the great batsman. Seeing Rohit advance down the wicket, he delivered his leg break slightly wider outside the off stump also slowing the pace of the delivery to just 79 kms per hour. This caught Rohit unawares and he was beaten by the line and speed of the delivery and holed out at long on. This was the turning point of the match.
And there was no stopping Mishra now!
He foxed and beat the out of form Hardik Pandya in the air with another loopy leg spinner again bowled slower at just under 80 kms per hour. The MI all-rounder could not resist the temptation and went after the bowler off the very first delivery of his innings – he met the same fate as his captain holding out to Steven Smith at long on. Mishra had turned the match on its head. He had got two massive wickets in his second over and MI were now in a spot of bother at 77 for 4 after 9 overs.
MI still had the destructive Kieron Pollard along with Ishan Kishan at the crease. The West Indian had given a glimpse of his prowess in the last encounter and was slowly getting back into his groove. Mishra conceded just 2 runs off the first four deliveries of the 12th over before bamboozling the big man with a slower googly. Pollard did not pick the variation and was struck on the back pad on the knee-roll. That was the end of the Pollard show – he was dismissed early for 2 off 5 deliveries. Mishra had again displayed his class and prized out a huge wicket for the Capitals.
There was more to come.
Kishan and Jayant Yadav had stabilized the MI innings and taken the score to 120 for 6 after 17 overs. A good last three overs and MI could have targeted a competitive 160 – which would have been a match-winning score on a slow Chennai wicket. But Mishra had other plans! Coming in to bowl the crucial 18th over at the death, it could have gone horribly wrong for the leg spinner and he could have easily been hammered for 15-20 which would have changed the complexion of the match. But instead, he again used all his experience and got the important wicket of Kishan with another variation in his repertoire. Mishra jammed the left-hander by bowling a yorker outside the off-stump which Kishan dragged on to his stumps. He gave away just 5 runs from the over and ended with magnificent figures of 4-24 from his 4 overs. He bowled as many as 11 dot deliveries and conceded just three fours but no sixes in his spell.
MI was reduced to 137 for 9 in their 20 overs. The match had effectively been sealed after the first innings itself courtesy some great bowling from Amit Mishra. The Capitals went on to win by six wickets.
It was one of the best spells of spin bowling in the IPL. Mishra had given a high impact performance as he dismissed four of the very best in T20 cricket getting the better of them with his crafty bowling, variations and intelligence.
Mishra was dropped from the DC XI after their season opener against Chennai Super Kings in which he conceded 27 off his 3 overs. He has a tally of 164 wickets in 152 matches in the IPL at a strike rate of 19.53 and economy rate of 7.34. This is commendable as not only is he an attacking option and a wicket-taking bowler in the IPL but also very economical – which is a rare quality for leg spinners.
Mishra was the highest wicket-taker for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2013 with 21 wickets in 17 matches at a strike rate of 17.7 and economy rate of 6.35 – that was his best season in the tournament. He holds the record for the maximum hat-tricks in IPL history having achieved the feat on 3 occasions.
An attacking wicket-taking Mishra only makes the Capitals’ attack that much stronger and perfectly complements the restrictive R Ashwin in the middle overs.