India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 3rd day November 16, 2011

Ojha looking forward to another early start

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The first half of the third day at Eden gardens went perfectly for India, with West Indies bowled out for just 153 before lunch. Thereafter, the buzzword was discipline rather than destruction, with the visiting batsmen applying themselves far better in the second innings. Despite that, though, India are just seven wickets away from sealing a series victory.

Pragyan Ojha had a hand in each of the last four West Indian wickets to fall in the first innings, finishing with 4 for 64. He was confident that another early start on Thursday would allow India to push home the advantage. "In the morning, there was some moisture in the wicket and it was doing a bit for us," he said after the third day's play. "We hope the same thing happens tomorrow. Our guys are bowling superbly, hitting the right areas. We are confident of getting them out early tomorrow."

Ojha was given the new ball in the first innings, but MS Dhoni opted for a more conventional approach in the second. Ojha said he enjoyed his stint with the harder ball, though he reckoned it had more to do with the conditions than tactics. "The main reason was that the wicket was spinning a lot. Yesterday the light was bad so we thought of going with spin rather than pace. I thank Dhoni bhai for having a lot of confidence in me and [R] Ashwin."

Ojha has bowled just 11 of the 62 overs India have sent down so far in the second innings, and despite the early loss of Kraigg Brathwaite, West Indies didn't crumble a second time. "The wicket became a little better," Ojha said. "I think we did quite well, hit the right areas and bowled a disciplined line.

"At some point of time, you do wonder what would have happened if we had taken one more wicket. But they also batted well in the second innings. We should give them credit."

So far, he and Ashwin have complemented each other well, playing pivotal roles in the win in Delhi. In Ojha's case, the responsibility of being the side's senior spinner appears to have worked wonders.

Another big contribution in a win here, and Ojha would be more or less assured of a seat on the plane to Australia in December. But he insisted that he wasn't looking that far ahead. "I am not focussing on the Australia tour at the moment. My aim is to win the Test and look forward to Mumbai [the third and final Test against West Indies]. God willing, if I do well there I can look forward to other things."

On this evidence, he has much to look forward to.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on November 17, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    nyc_missile : win by an innings in 4 days ... not convincing ???

  • satish619chandar on November 17, 2011, 1:24 GMT

    Ojha or Ashwin in Australia where only one spinner ll play?

  • serious-am-i on November 16, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    bhajji can settle down to IPL and tv shows now. We have seen enough of him. He is another fine example of Irfan Pathan category. One who is selected for bowling and can bat a bit, starts to give more importance to batting than his major role of bowling. Ojha should have been selected for English tour, he was infact in England when guy got injured and mishra got a look in the side. Mishra failed miserably to capitalize on his options against major teams. Now, so our spin options are Ojha, Ashwin. Mishra and Rahul Sharma are the backups. Yadav and Aaron are our speedsters. If at all Praveen can get more pace to his bowling then he can take over from Zaheer totally and ask Zaheer thanks for ur service now u may retire.

  • dummy4fb on November 16, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    When the world cup team was announced, there was a fight for the 2nd spinner's slot between Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha. But, out of the blue, Piyush Chawla, grabbed the chance, and expectedly, proved a dud. Piyush's line and length is his undoing, particularly his length. Amit Mishra, as was seen in England, is slower through the air, which makes the batsmen reach his balls as half volleys, though he has a better length than Piyush. But Ojha looks a better bet; Of course, he was not selected for the world cup as we already has a left arm spinner in Yuvraj. But, in test matches, Ojha should get chance. Ashwin should have been inducted into test matches at least a year ago, but because of Bhajji, he couldn't get a chance. Bhajji, for all the wickets he has taken, is an eyesore to watch, as his action is always under a cloud; Same was the case with Muralidharan and Akhtar. Ashwin looks in Kumble mode, but, with more variety, which makes him successful.

  • dummy4fb on November 16, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    It Is nice to see Ojha doing well. On the English County cricket blogs nobody could understand why he wasn't playing for India. He made a big impact in a short time.

  • dummy4fb on November 16, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    @ Nampally Dude Yuvraj never played Test under MSD for his left arm spin & Jadeja have never played a single Test. In ODI the combination of Yuvraj + Jadeja is much better than Yuvraj + Ojha, assuming MSD goes with his usually 3 Pacers 1 Spinner strategy. Yuvraj Jadeja will bat better (obviously), field better (obviously) and Yuvraj Ojha will only marginally bowl better because if a pitch is a spinning track then I dont think Jadeja will do much worse than Ojha.Jadeja's batting & fielding will compensate where ever he comes short. Also I dont think MSD will ever give the sole spin position to either Yuvraj or Jadeja if Ojha is there ruuning for the spot. Jadeja has improved his every aspect of game, though I still dont think of him as a test material.

  • cric_frank on November 16, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    Pathetic captaincy by Dhoni ! With a lead of 450 runs, he spread the field as if it was an ODI that made Barath and Edwards ease into their innings.When will we be able to crush an opponent convincingly at least at home ?

  • East_West on November 16, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Ohja has been always good but NEVER got chances due to the lack of guts by selectors to drop Bhajji. Also, Bhajji now become more of a batsman than a genuine bolower, so he become more handy than other spinners, Amit Mishra is another unlucky one! Hope INDIA persists with Ohja, Ashwin, Amit and may be Rahul Sharma! Having said, that it is high time Yuvi should be opted for ONLY ODIs, and may be Raina as well! of all the young ones, VIRAT seems to be good, Bardi should be given a chance, along with Rahane and Abhinav! I am not sure where Pujara fitsin! Also, it is high time we test Varon and Yadav in Australia! these kids have more hunger and pride to play for INDIA than Sreesanth! I am not sure if BALAJI fits in the future equations! wonder, what happend to IRFAN? Was he sidelined due to injury or lack of pace, or...I think after AUS tour, Laxman should retire, then Sachin, and then Rahul! by 2013, we should start playing without these three else India will be winning ONLY against Zim

  • PradeepR on November 16, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    @zico123 - Trust me, Ravindra Jadeja is a better all-round cricketer than these two as far as test cricket is concerned since he doesn't have as much of an attacking game as these two have.

  • dummy4fb on November 16, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    If yuvraj cant cement his place in test team even after 11 years, Others (pujara, rohit and virat, rahane, mukund) too deserve a fair and longish stint in test team. Good to see readers praising both the spinners. There were some comments after last match saying Dhoni was biased towards Ashwin and ignored Ojha purposely in the second inning. Both have different styles and they seem capable to hold the spin front for team India in the future. Every passing day of this test series (also the ranji trophy) has dented harbhajan's prospects of aussie tour..Good to see umesh yadav performing. Indian bowling seems to be peaking at the right time for aussie tour

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