Amit Mishra has set his sights on a place in India’s Test side for the tour of South Africa later this year after spinning the tourists to victory in the third one-day international at Harare Sports Club.
Mishra claimed figures of 4-47 as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 183 on Sunday, before India cruised to a seven-wicket win and an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
The 30-year-old leg-spinner has not played a Test since India’s tour of England in 2011, and although he faces stiff competition for a place in the squad to South Africa he has been making good use of the series against Zimbabwe.
Mishra has claimed nine wickets in the first three matches, becoming the top wicket-taker in conditions that have not provided much assistance to spinners.
“I’m not in the Test side, but I’ll try and do my job in the next two matches, and then it’s up to the selectors,” he said.
Six of Mishra’s wickets have come from his well-disguised googly, while another variation accounted for Sikandar Raza in the first match.
“I’ve done lots of hard work on my googlies and variations, and it’s paying off,” Mishra said. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this, I’m doing my best and it’s working for me now.”
Having seen his side post another inadequate total, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor put their struggles with the bat down to a mental problem.
Zimbabwe have not crossed 240 in the series so far, with Raza’s 82 in the first match their highest individual score.
“I don’t think we’re mentally sharp enough,” Taylor said. “We’re just not making the precise decisions at the right time and not putting a real price on our wickets.”
“You’ll see when they bat they generally grind it out and they don’t give it away,” he said.
Taylor also confirmed that 37-year-old spinner Ray Price had decided to quit the international game.
Price, who played 22 Tests and 102 one-day internationals, had not represented Zimbabwe since March.