In Mohali for the Deodhar Trophy quarterfinal against Central Zone beginning Friday,South Zone left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha already has the IPL on his mind. Ojha,who represented Deccan Chargers in the first four seasons,has been contracted to the Mumbai Indians this time,and is hopeful that a good stint with them will provide a platform to make a comeback into the national ODI team. In particular,he is hoping to learn from the Indians off spinner,Harbhajan Singh. I have bowled both in ODIs and Test matches along side Bhajji paaji. Being one of the top teams of IPL,Mumbai Indians have the perfect combination of experience,talent and leadership. I would like to learn more from Bhajji paaji and give my best, Ojha said.
Down in the pecking order
Ojha got the ODI cap first before making his Test debut,but is currently below Ravichandran Aswhin and Ravindra Jadeja in the pecking order. It isnt as if Ojha has been performing poorly as of late. Playing as the first choice spinner in the 2011 home series against West Indies,he picked up 20 wickets in 6 innings. During a county stint with Surrey prior to that,he had captured 24 wickets at 12.95. He was also picked for the Test squad during Indias tour of Australia but failed to make the final XI in any of the four Tests. The 25-year-old Hyderabadi said,People can think or comprehend whatever they want to. I admit I have been disappointed,but this is not the end. I have enough cricket ahead to prove my credentials.
Besides the IPL,Ojha,who has played 14 Tests (62 wickets) and 16 ODIs (20 wickets) for India,hopes to shine during the Deodhar Trophy.
I have bowling well recently. I am bowling in rhythm and with vigour. My total focus is to do well in the upcoming Deodhar matches and then the IPL. I am not really thinking much beyond that. My stint with Surrey helped me put up a good show against the West Indies. So I need to keep playing well in all tournaments I play.
I have been talking to Bhajji paaji,Anil bhai and Venkatapati Raju in the last couple of years,which has helped my game. I want to be known as match-winner of the Indian team. Hopefully,good performances at the Deodhar and IPL would elevate my career, said Ojha.