Speaking to ANI, Mishra threw light on the pitches in the UAE, working in tandem with Ashwin, life in the bio-bubble, playing under a young captain in Shreyas Iyer, and most importantly the role of head coach Ricky Ponting in keeping the boys positive.
The general feeling with the IPL being played in UAE was that the wickets will turn. But Mishra says that being smart and using the right variation is very important on these wickets.
“It is not like it is helping the spinners a lot. The wickets have grass and it is helping the fast ball a bit. The wickets have a little moisture and softness so you have to bowl well. You need to know the pace at which you must bowl and the variations that you need to use. You need to be smart and bowl in the right areas, just being a spinner isn’t enough,” he said.
Asked about sharing the dressing room with another legend in Ashwin, Mishra said that they are looking to not only work as a team in plotting the downfall of opposition batsmen but also work closely with the young spinners in the DC unit.
“We are both very positive and we love using our variations. At the nets also, we keep talking about the way we should experiment and which are the deliveries we should work on. When the youngsters are bowling with us or when they come to us, we both look to guide them. We always look at improving ourselves and what we can add to our kitty apart from the weapons we already have.
“Sometimes we also discuss opposition batsmen going into a game and how he needs to be worked out in the middle. We also keep explaining things to the youngsters so that they can learn quickly,” he explained.
While the team has done really well on the field, winning both their games, life in the bio-bubble can be tough sometimes. But Mishra says that the DC management has been brilliant and the environment in the team has made it smooth sailing for the cricketers.
“The best thing is that cricket is back and that has helped people move away from any sort of negativity around them and enjoy the game. The rules are brilliant and helps everyone stay and secure. Sometimes you need to draw a line looking at the bigger picture and if this is what was needed to get us back on the cricket pitch, we must follow.
“Yes, you do wish to go out sometimes, but we have our own family in the teammates and support staff. One wrong step can hurt everyone so while it is a little strict, I see the rules as a positive move. Resumption of cricket is most important and I don’t think any player has a problem,” he said.
“Have spent a lot of time with the likes of Mohit Sharma and Harshal Patel. We keep talking and this unit is like a family. The environment is really positive and that is the best part when you are away on tour.”
From the players to the leader, Mishra believes that Iyer has improved as a captain, and his habit of giving bowlers freedom is a must-have quality if one wishes to be a successful captain.
“Shreyas is a quick learner and likes to listen. He discusses things before taking a call and I can say that his captaincy has improved further this year. He likes to give the bowler freedom and that helps because that means he knows what your strength is and as a player, you feel good and go in with a lot of confidence. Staying positive is also a trait that will serve him well as he goes along,” he smiled.
Talking of positive, Mishra feels head coach Ricky Ponting is definitely a stand-out when it comes to ensuring that the boys only focus on the right things and stay in the right frame of mind.
“He loves looking at the positive. He likes to move away from negative thoughts. Yes, if there is a certain area that needs addressing he will do that, but he likes to stay positive. Keeps motivating the players and treats everyone equally. He knows who needs to be handled in which way and that is very important. Ponting knows when to tighten the rope and when to allow a little bit of freedom and that can only come when you have the experience that he has,” he signed off.