Kolkata: Indian cricket is yet to fill the void created by Anil Kumble's retirement four years ago, but legspinner Amit Mishra is determined to step into those big shoes, provided he gets an opportunity.
After Kumble's retirement, India's litany of woes in the spin department was further compounded by Harbhajan Singh's loss of form.
The selectors have tried the legspin trio of Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla and Rahul Sharma, but none of them has been able to perform consistently at the international level.
Mishra, however, believed he was ready for the challenge. "Anilbhai has served Indian cricket for more than 15 years. It's difficult to fill the void overnight. But I'm working hard on my bowling. Agar mauka mile, mein puri koshish karoonga ki Anilbhai ki kami mehsoos na ho (I will try my best not to let Anilbhai's absence felt)," the 29-year-old told PTI in an interview here on Monday.
"When I feel the need, I talk to Anilbhai. He has been really a good support. He has been my idol. I am giving my best. Hope I do well by the God's grace."
For somebody who has started off with a five-for in his debut Test (against Australia, 2008-09), Mishra's career graph has not progressed the way it was expected to.
"Every sportsperson has ups and downs in life. But I feel the best is yet to come. I am eagerly waiting for an opportunity to come my away," the leg-spinner said.
The Deccan Chargers player who was the team's leading wicket-taker in IPL-IV, is yet to fire this time around. He hoped to make his mark in the coming matches, something that could pave the way for selection in the Indian team for the World T20, to be held in Sri Lanka in September.
"Pressure will always be there at this level. But we are used to it. I'm sure our performance will be under scrutiny for the World Twenty20. It would be really nice to make a comeback through a successful outing in IPL," Mishra, who last played for India in the Test series versus England in 2011, said.
Mishra further said the team atmosphere is fine despite the spate of defeats and that they were trying to learn from the mistakes.
"No doubt we are on a losing streak but we are trying hard. There have been a few mistakes especially in the last few overs of a game."
"But we are trying our best to sort out the issues. There are a few youngsters who are playing at this level for the first time. But all is not lost. Nothing is impossible. It's Twenty20 after all. I'm looking forward to contribute with fielding, bowling and batting."
The leggie said he is keen to roll his arm over on the slow Eden Gardens wicket. "I had taken four wickets -- against South Africa in a 2008-09 Test match -- on my last outing here. I'm looking forward to bowl here again. I'm sure it would help my style of bowling," Mishra said.
Deccan Chargers face Kolkata Knight Riders in their return-leg IPL clash here on Tuesday.