Australia in India 2012-13 March 26, 2013

Ojha keen for overseas success

ESPNcricinfo staff
19

Pragyan Ojha, the India left-arm spinner, has played 22 Tests and is the third quickest Indian to reach 100 wickets, but is yet to play outside the subcontinent. Ojha said he wants to change that and is keen to prove himself in conditions outside home as well.

"I want to play and succeed in different parts of the world and in different conditions," Ojha told the BCCI website. "When you're playing on tracks like this [Delhi], as a spinner things are very simple for you. You don't have to try too many things and just focus on doing the simple things right. It will be a very big challenge for me to go abroad and pick wickets in some tough conditions."

Though Ojha has been a regular in India's Test team at home in the past couple of years, he was left out of the side for the first two Tests against Australia. He was part of the squad for India's last overseas tour, to Australia in 2011-12, but didn't get to play any of the Tests.

"My priority right now is to play more and more matches and not miss out on any cricket," Ojha said. "If I keep bowling, I'll keep my rhythm going and really, that's all I can do to prepare for the coming overseas season."

Ojha made his debut in 2009, initially forming a spin partnership with Harbhajan Singh and, later on, with R Ashwin. He said his bowling had evolved over the past four years. "I have begun to vary my pace; when I started playing, I didn't have much idea about how to vary my pace, use the crease and play around with the seam," he said. "I have started to do all that now, which has added the required variety to my bowling."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AvidCricFan on March 26, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Ojha will be competing with Jadeja who was a much better performer in the recent series. Jadeja has tremendous edge over Ojha when it comes to batting and fielding. With Jadeja's performance in the recent series where both played together, it will be tough to find place for Ojha in the playing eleven. BTW, Jadeja earned his place as a bowling all rounder. Ashwin will also be an automatic choice. So chances for Ojha or Bhajji are going to be slim to be in the playing eleven even if they are picked in the team.

  • brusselslion on March 26, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    I've got a soft spot for the guy as he was a big reason why Surrey got promoted. I'd welcome him back to the Oval with open arms at any time. There's obviously a huge gulf in class between playing 2nd division County and Test cricket but his career and performances seem to be progressing in the right direction. Good luck to the bloke (unless he signs for another county or, is playing against England, in which case, I hope that he bowls like a drain!!).

  • Nampally on March 26, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    The best way for Ojha to get overseas playing experience is to sign with one of the England Counties. There is gross dearth of spinners in the English county Cricket. M.Kartick played regularly in the English county Cricket & got a lot of wkts. Ojha will be welcomed with open arms. The ideal time is when the IPL cricket is being played in India. Whilst there is a glut of LH spinners in the IPL, the English county cricket has hardly any notable ones. This will also improve Ojha's chances of being included in the India Test XI. With the emergence of Jadeja, Ojha's position in the Indian team is jeopardised. In fact Dhoni preferred Jadeja by dropping Ojha in the first 2 tests. This trend will continue because Jadeja is an all rounder whilst Ojha is a specialist bowler but poor batsman & an average fielder. To save his own future, Ojha must play every season in the English county Cricket. I also feel that Ojha's position may be in jeopardy for the SA Squad due to be announced soon.

  • ramli on March 27, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Telling that spin bowling is simple on Indian tracks is an understatement ... it may be easier here than elsewhere ... even here one requires high skill-sets to take 5 wickets in an innings ... he was not able to achieve this in the chances he got against aus ... so, improve your bowling and wait for the opportunity to perform abroad

  • satishchandar on March 27, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    I dont think Ojha with lesser batting abilities and lower pace is going to be the No.1 spinner in the team.. Especially given how RJ too succeeded. He will now be the third choice spinner. I do agree he is the no.1 spinner technically. He is the only technically correct spinner in the team and the only orthodox one too. Yet, that is not the need of the hour. Modern bowling says that.. Monty with fastish bowling outbowled classic Swanny and we got Narine and Shillingford's unorthodox bowling produce better results than Price/Utseya.. Kane W outbowled orthodox Martin and Vettori recently.

  • on March 26, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    Needs an oppportunity to play in XI - on seamer friendly tracks, do agree with @ Nampally - all cricketers who are in the international circuit should go and play in english county cricket, thats invaluable playing experience !!

  • on March 26, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    This whole thing of Jadeja somehow making it to the side and staying in there just because he is Dhoni's favorite is pure nonsense. Jadeja forced his way into the test squad with good all-round performances, and in his first 5 tests he has taken 27 wickets. He's the best fielder in the country, and can develop into a decent option with the bat as well. Give the guy a break, he has earned his chances, and he has done well in the limited chances he has got. Hopefully the cricinfo editorial team would also take note, and give the guy his due share of credit. Anyways, Ojha has done well to reach 100 test wickets in 22 matches, but sharpening his bowling with more variations, he could emerge into a decent option even overseas.

  • akc5247 on March 26, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    Ojha's sentiments are welcome. But him saying that "When you're playing on tracks like this [Delhi], as a spinner things are very simple for you" -- he did not pick up much wickets in Delhi at all. Ashwin got 5 in 1st innings and Rav got 5 in the 2nd. If the track was "simple" to get wickets, why didn't he?

    That aside, congratulations on his 100 wickets. Wish him a great career ahead, and much more victories both inside and outside the country through his bowling and the rest of the team's coordination.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 26, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Ojha's a good bowler. He wasn't, like his team, good enough to beat England. But he has proved his talent on the world stage and should replace Bahjii permanently.

  • Mill1 on March 26, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    Nampally...your comment is factually incorrect! Ojha played for Surrey at the end of last year in county cricket and took a heap of wickets to help the county. He was pretty much the best spinner on the county circuit. So he already has very good overseas experience...India just need to use him now in Test at International level....which i fear they won't!

  • AvidCricFan on March 26, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Ojha will be competing with Jadeja who was a much better performer in the recent series. Jadeja has tremendous edge over Ojha when it comes to batting and fielding. With Jadeja's performance in the recent series where both played together, it will be tough to find place for Ojha in the playing eleven. BTW, Jadeja earned his place as a bowling all rounder. Ashwin will also be an automatic choice. So chances for Ojha or Bhajji are going to be slim to be in the playing eleven even if they are picked in the team.

  • brusselslion on March 26, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    I've got a soft spot for the guy as he was a big reason why Surrey got promoted. I'd welcome him back to the Oval with open arms at any time. There's obviously a huge gulf in class between playing 2nd division County and Test cricket but his career and performances seem to be progressing in the right direction. Good luck to the bloke (unless he signs for another county or, is playing against England, in which case, I hope that he bowls like a drain!!).

  • Nampally on March 26, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    The best way for Ojha to get overseas playing experience is to sign with one of the England Counties. There is gross dearth of spinners in the English county Cricket. M.Kartick played regularly in the English county Cricket & got a lot of wkts. Ojha will be welcomed with open arms. The ideal time is when the IPL cricket is being played in India. Whilst there is a glut of LH spinners in the IPL, the English county cricket has hardly any notable ones. This will also improve Ojha's chances of being included in the India Test XI. With the emergence of Jadeja, Ojha's position in the Indian team is jeopardised. In fact Dhoni preferred Jadeja by dropping Ojha in the first 2 tests. This trend will continue because Jadeja is an all rounder whilst Ojha is a specialist bowler but poor batsman & an average fielder. To save his own future, Ojha must play every season in the English county Cricket. I also feel that Ojha's position may be in jeopardy for the SA Squad due to be announced soon.

  • ramli on March 27, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Telling that spin bowling is simple on Indian tracks is an understatement ... it may be easier here than elsewhere ... even here one requires high skill-sets to take 5 wickets in an innings ... he was not able to achieve this in the chances he got against aus ... so, improve your bowling and wait for the opportunity to perform abroad

  • satishchandar on March 27, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    I dont think Ojha with lesser batting abilities and lower pace is going to be the No.1 spinner in the team.. Especially given how RJ too succeeded. He will now be the third choice spinner. I do agree he is the no.1 spinner technically. He is the only technically correct spinner in the team and the only orthodox one too. Yet, that is not the need of the hour. Modern bowling says that.. Monty with fastish bowling outbowled classic Swanny and we got Narine and Shillingford's unorthodox bowling produce better results than Price/Utseya.. Kane W outbowled orthodox Martin and Vettori recently.

  • on March 26, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    Needs an oppportunity to play in XI - on seamer friendly tracks, do agree with @ Nampally - all cricketers who are in the international circuit should go and play in english county cricket, thats invaluable playing experience !!

  • on March 26, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    This whole thing of Jadeja somehow making it to the side and staying in there just because he is Dhoni's favorite is pure nonsense. Jadeja forced his way into the test squad with good all-round performances, and in his first 5 tests he has taken 27 wickets. He's the best fielder in the country, and can develop into a decent option with the bat as well. Give the guy a break, he has earned his chances, and he has done well in the limited chances he has got. Hopefully the cricinfo editorial team would also take note, and give the guy his due share of credit. Anyways, Ojha has done well to reach 100 test wickets in 22 matches, but sharpening his bowling with more variations, he could emerge into a decent option even overseas.

  • akc5247 on March 26, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    Ojha's sentiments are welcome. But him saying that "When you're playing on tracks like this [Delhi], as a spinner things are very simple for you" -- he did not pick up much wickets in Delhi at all. Ashwin got 5 in 1st innings and Rav got 5 in the 2nd. If the track was "simple" to get wickets, why didn't he?

    That aside, congratulations on his 100 wickets. Wish him a great career ahead, and much more victories both inside and outside the country through his bowling and the rest of the team's coordination.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 26, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Ojha's a good bowler. He wasn't, like his team, good enough to beat England. But he has proved his talent on the world stage and should replace Bahjii permanently.

  • Mill1 on March 26, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    Nampally...your comment is factually incorrect! Ojha played for Surrey at the end of last year in county cricket and took a heap of wickets to help the county. He was pretty much the best spinner on the county circuit. So he already has very good overseas experience...India just need to use him now in Test at International level....which i fear they won't!

  • InsideHedge on March 26, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Ojha did very well in the few matches he played for Surrey in late 2011 altho it should be remembered he signed for them very late in the season when the English pitches were finally worn after another damp-ish summer, and he was bowling against Division II batsmen. The Oval is also one of the better pitches for a spin bowler in England.

    Still, he had amazing success, he would make a good signing for a county, that's his best bet because even in India home Tests, I reckon he's now 3rd spinner and not that far ahead of Bhajan who probably still aspires to make the national team. Given Ojha's age, he'd be smart to start looking at big paydays wherever he can find them.

  • InsideHedge on March 26, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    @VickGower: Exactly my thoughts....Ishant Sharma is another one who offers little in the field, and with the bat. It's too late for these guys, you can't suddenly learn to bat and field now, it should have been done in their youth. But I won't feel sorry for them, the fact that they even got to play ONE Test Match makes them privileged people.

  • VickGower on March 26, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    In this day and age Ojha has to be a better batsman and a fielder if he is to make the team. Look at tailenders across the world. His ground fielding is a throwback to an earlier Indian era of sluggish movement and awful athleticism. If he were Shane Warne you could perhaps overlook his other deficiencies. But since he is not...

  • crindo77 on March 26, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    He may be an average bowler, but his batting and fielding are anything but; definitely one of the WORST fielders in the team, clumsy, slow. lazy. And a genuine no 11 with no attempts at improvement. Unless India go to Zimbabwe or Bangladesh......Dead wood gone, he's next on the chopping block. Maybe Ojha is trying some reverse psych by nudging the selectors into selecting him for SA. The sort of form SA are in, he should be secretly happy if he's not chosen.

  • on March 26, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    No doubt, Ojha has done well in the limited chances he has got, but I think currently, Sir Jadeja has a better chance of playing as a 2nd spinner overseas than Ojha. Jadeja is more accurate at any time,can bat, and of course he is Dhoni's favourite. Ojha would get a chance only if the front-line spinner, Ashwin here, misses out due to injury or some other reason.

  • on March 26, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Ojha was probably lucky to reach the landmark so fast. He has a good loop but hardly any variation of speed. He has to add a few more dimensions by way of variation if he wants to stay where he is.

  • ravi_hari on March 26, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Its good to see youngsters like Ojha wanting to perform outside the subcontinent. It is because of the youngsters' performances that India could drub Aussies 4-0. However, with the kind of wickets we get overseas and the success of Jadeja, Ojha's chances of getting a place in the XI looks very remote. If Ashwin fails or is injured, Indians will fall back on Bhajji or will look for a leggie like Amit Mishra. I doubt if India will ever have 2 leftarm spinners overseas. Even if Jadeja fails, he will be replaced with a batsman than a spinner. So Ojha should feel very lucky if he gets a chance. With India on mostly overseas series during the year, it would make sense for Ojha to opt for county cricket so that he will get first hand experience of overseas pitches and will keep himself match fit. Indian selectors should talk to Ojha and should omit him from the test sides for SA and NZ. He should be in the reserves so that can fly down in emergency. It is better than sitting out every match

  • Paddy789 on March 26, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    In overseas(out side sub continents) matches we shall not have 2 spinners in the line-up, some how Ashwin still has a edge over Ojha to be in playing 11, unless he is injured. Very less chance for Ojha to prove himself.

  • GRINDIA on March 26, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Bhajii is much better bowler then Ojha despite his current lack of form. would prefer him over ojha. Though ashwin be frontline spinner.

  • GRINDIA on March 26, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Bhajii is much better bowler then Ojha despite his current lack of form. would prefer him over ojha. Though ashwin be frontline spinner.

  • Paddy789 on March 26, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    In overseas(out side sub continents) matches we shall not have 2 spinners in the line-up, some how Ashwin still has a edge over Ojha to be in playing 11, unless he is injured. Very less chance for Ojha to prove himself.

  • ravi_hari on March 26, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Its good to see youngsters like Ojha wanting to perform outside the subcontinent. It is because of the youngsters' performances that India could drub Aussies 4-0. However, with the kind of wickets we get overseas and the success of Jadeja, Ojha's chances of getting a place in the XI looks very remote. If Ashwin fails or is injured, Indians will fall back on Bhajji or will look for a leggie like Amit Mishra. I doubt if India will ever have 2 leftarm spinners overseas. Even if Jadeja fails, he will be replaced with a batsman than a spinner. So Ojha should feel very lucky if he gets a chance. With India on mostly overseas series during the year, it would make sense for Ojha to opt for county cricket so that he will get first hand experience of overseas pitches and will keep himself match fit. Indian selectors should talk to Ojha and should omit him from the test sides for SA and NZ. He should be in the reserves so that can fly down in emergency. It is better than sitting out every match

  • on March 26, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Ojha was probably lucky to reach the landmark so fast. He has a good loop but hardly any variation of speed. He has to add a few more dimensions by way of variation if he wants to stay where he is.

  • on March 26, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    No doubt, Ojha has done well in the limited chances he has got, but I think currently, Sir Jadeja has a better chance of playing as a 2nd spinner overseas than Ojha. Jadeja is more accurate at any time,can bat, and of course he is Dhoni's favourite. Ojha would get a chance only if the front-line spinner, Ashwin here, misses out due to injury or some other reason.

  • crindo77 on March 26, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    He may be an average bowler, but his batting and fielding are anything but; definitely one of the WORST fielders in the team, clumsy, slow. lazy. And a genuine no 11 with no attempts at improvement. Unless India go to Zimbabwe or Bangladesh......Dead wood gone, he's next on the chopping block. Maybe Ojha is trying some reverse psych by nudging the selectors into selecting him for SA. The sort of form SA are in, he should be secretly happy if he's not chosen.

  • VickGower on March 26, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    In this day and age Ojha has to be a better batsman and a fielder if he is to make the team. Look at tailenders across the world. His ground fielding is a throwback to an earlier Indian era of sluggish movement and awful athleticism. If he were Shane Warne you could perhaps overlook his other deficiencies. But since he is not...

  • InsideHedge on March 26, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    @VickGower: Exactly my thoughts....Ishant Sharma is another one who offers little in the field, and with the bat. It's too late for these guys, you can't suddenly learn to bat and field now, it should have been done in their youth. But I won't feel sorry for them, the fact that they even got to play ONE Test Match makes them privileged people.

  • InsideHedge on March 26, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Ojha did very well in the few matches he played for Surrey in late 2011 altho it should be remembered he signed for them very late in the season when the English pitches were finally worn after another damp-ish summer, and he was bowling against Division II batsmen. The Oval is also one of the better pitches for a spin bowler in England.

    Still, he had amazing success, he would make a good signing for a county, that's his best bet because even in India home Tests, I reckon he's now 3rd spinner and not that far ahead of Bhajan who probably still aspires to make the national team. Given Ojha's age, he'd be smart to start looking at big paydays wherever he can find them.

  • Mill1 on March 26, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    Nampally...your comment is factually incorrect! Ojha played for Surrey at the end of last year in county cricket and took a heap of wickets to help the county. He was pretty much the best spinner on the county circuit. So he already has very good overseas experience...India just need to use him now in Test at International level....which i fear they won't!