It has been exactly four and half months since Pragyan Ojha last played for India. And the 22-year-old left-arm spinner,who has played five ODIs,knows the upcoming Sri Lanka tour could prove to be career defining.
Even though I did not get a chance to play against England,the fact that I was in the squad helped me bond with the players and understand the kind of effort needed to deliver when it is required, Ojha said from Hyderabad after the selectors retained him for the Sri Lanka series with Harbhajan Singh sidelined due to a hamstring injury.
More importantly,Ojha will be the only specialist spinner in the 15-member squad with new face Ravindra Jadeja,Yusuf Pathan,Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag expected to don the supporting spinners role.
Harbhajan has been a terrific bowler and I have learnt a lot from him. He keeps things very tight at one end and bowling along with him allows a youngster to bowl without pressure,try and go for wickets. I am looking at this opportunity to deliver and seal my place in the XI,and this will be a big responsibility for me. Along with the likes of Jadeja and Pathan,we hope to form a formidable combination in the series, said Ojha.
Ojhas career is again taking him to Sri Lanka and he expects to gain from past experience. I have played two out of five ODIs in my career in Sri Lanka and I read the conditions well during the last tour. The conditions support spin bowling there and I almost have on-the-job experience of every single venue, he said.
With Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma in full swing,though,it has to be seen how much the spinners come into the picture. I just messaged Zaheer and Ishant joking that if they carry their form in Sri Lanka also,we spinners might not be needed, Ojha said.