Mishra gets Dhoni backing
India's new bowling star Amit Mishra has been backed to perform more heroics against Australia.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 26/10/08 12:40pm
India's new bowling star Amit Mishra has been backed to perform more heroics ahead of the third Test against Australia.
Mishra was picked for the second Test in Mohali as a last-minute replacement for injured skipper Anil Kumble and tied the Australians in knots with his enormous leg-breaks and the occasional googly.
The debutant's seven wickets helped India to a thumping 320-run win, and the Australians are desperate to avoid a repeat from the 25-year-old in the Delhi Test.
And stand-in captain Mahendra Dhoni has been full of praise for Mishra, who has played in only three one-day internationals.
"I believe in him (Mishra) as I believe in every guy in the squad," Dhoni said.
"It's not fair to doubt anyone. He may not have 500-600 wickets but he has loads of wickets (310) in domestic cricket. He is different from other bowlers in that he flights the ball but is not quick in the air.
"You have to use your feet against him because his googly and slider can really fool the batsman."
The Indian selectors face a tricky selection dilemma for the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar series beginning on Wednesday, with Kumble raring to play on his favourite surface.
The inspirational skipper became only the second bowler to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings, when he struck gold against Pakistan at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in 1999, while his 55 wickets at a rate of just 15.41 in six Tests at the venue rank highly.
The 38-year-old's injured shoulder is improving rapidly and he is keen to lead India again with time running out in his career spanning 18 years and 131 Tests.
Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke said whoever was selected would be an uphill task as the tourists seek to battle their way back from 1-0 down in the four-Test series.
"They are two very different bowlers but Anil has been fantastic for India for a long time," Clarke said.
"I would imagine if he is fit he will be back in the team in Delhi and the youngster is just going to have to wait until Anil gets injured again, retires, whatever he decides to do.
"Whoever they pick, we know we are going to have to bat well against them."