Australia in India 2012-13 March 26, 2013

Ojha keen for overseas success

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • RAJARAMAN 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

  • Satish Chandar 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.

  • Dummy4 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 !!

  • Dummy4 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.

  • A 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.

  • j 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.

  • Millan 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!

  • Sanjay 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.