Slow & steady wins the race
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As Vikas Mishra landed in Delhi after a successful U-19 Asia Cup campaign in Malaysia where he scalped 11 wickets in five games, the Delhi lad hoped that he would be part of the India U-19 World Cup squad. His performance in Malaysia had given the left-arm spinner hope that he would be making the trip to Australia for the World Cup and as per his expectations, the selectors duly named him in the final squad.
With two four-wicket hauls against Nepal and Malaysia, Mishra admits that a small change in his bowling did the trick. Although, this wasn't the scenario back in April when he toured Australia for the U-19 quadrangular tournament and could only manage two wickets from four matches.
Disappointment and concern over not getting enough wickets saw him consult his coaches Bharat Arun and Naresh Jain, who put him back on track by advising him to give the ball more air. Mishra worked diligently on the advice that was given and reaped the benefits in the Asia Cup.
Since Mishra bowls from a higher trajectory, the chances of giving the ball air were quite less earlier. However after a number of batsmen picked his length and cashed in, Mishra thought it necessary to ring in a change. The change was simple and involved Mishra bowling with a pronounced loop. He initially had trouble with finding the right spot but Mishra said that extended practice sessions have addressed this concern.
"Before going to Malaysia, I had already played two India U-19 quadrangular tournaments in Vishakhapatnam and Australia. I had got 9 wickets in Vishakhapatnam but could only manage 2 in Australia. So I discussed it with U-19 coach Bharat Arun sir and my personal coach Naresh Jain who asked me to bowl a lot slower than usual." Mishra said that this change also allowed him to experiment with his bowling.
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