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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Pragyan Ojha praises MS Dhoni, calls him ‘bowler’s captain’

Pragyan Ojha also expressed his desire to compete in overseas T20 leagues and will be seeking BCCI's permission for exploring the options.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: February 25, 2020 10:22:25 pm
Pragyan Ojha celebrating the wicket of Shane Watson on Day 3 of the fourth Test at Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on March 24, 2013. (Express Photo by Ravi Kanojia)

Former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha, who recently drew curtains on his international and first-class career, believes that MS Dhoni was a ‘bowler’s captain.’ The 33-year-old, who played a majority of his matches under the charismatic Mahendra Singh Dhoni, stated that the wicketkeeper-batsman had a great understanding with his bowlers.

“He (Dhoni) was bowler’s captain. I strongly believe that a bowler should have a captain who understands him. A lot of bowlers praise Dhoni because of the dimensions he gives you, things that he helps you with like placing the field, keeping your mind clear and those are important when you play high-intensity games,” Ojha told media persons on the sidelines of the DY Patil T20 Cup.

He also expressed his desire to compete in overseas T20 leagues and will be seeking BCCI’s permission for exploring the options. The left-arm spinner announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket last week.

“There are few things in my mind. I have been doing commentary and I am with the BCCI. I will take advise from the BCCI whether I can go and play in some leagues outside India but (only) if I get permission. I need to talk to BCCI and let’s see what happens,” Ojha said.

Ojha represented India in 48 international matches – 24 Tests, 18 ODIs and six T20Is – from 2008 to 2013. In early stage of his career, he had a successful spin partnership with R Ashwin in Tests, taking 20 wickets in the 2011 home games against West Indies and 13 the following year against New Zealand.

Giving an example of Shahbaz Nadeem, Ojha believes that there are many opportunities for left-arm spinners to make it to the national side. “How many (left-arm) spinners are there in our country who are ready to go and play. A maximum of four or five, so there is lot of gap. If you work hard and consistently perform in domestic cricket, you will be will be rewarded. Look at Nadeem, he has played well and end of the day he got a chance, he is now a Test cricketer,” he said.

Ojha’s career was hit with a setback when he was banned for a brief period after his action was found to be illegal. Asked whether the clampdown on chucking affected his career, he said, “I will tell very clearly, what happened when I started playing, I developed few things which were not good for my career.”

“Chucking is something which should be treated like an injury not like an insult, because when I heard about it, I was shaken. Imagine a 15-16 year old guy, so it (chucking) should be taken very carefully and they (the authorities) should be very sensitive in the way they are dealing with those boys,” he noted.

“I was back in just 22 days and began playing for Hyderabad again. I played for India ‘A’ as well. So that’s how it went,” Ojha said.

-with PTI inputs 

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