India in Sri Lanka 2012 July 5, 2012

Ojha aims for consistency

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pragyan Ojha, the left-arm spinner, has said he will aim for consistency after being picked in the India squad for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka later this month. Ojha was not part of the squad that played the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March, but was relieved to make a comeback.

"Obviously, there is a sense of relief that I am back in the ODI scheme of things," Ojha told PTI. "Who isn't happy to wear the India jersey? I have been working very hard. I would like to let my performance do the talking for me. My aim is to perform consistently and play in all three formats for a long time."

Ojha, who picked up nine wickets in nine games at 24.44 in the IPL, last played for India in the Test series against West Indies at home in November last year. However his last ODI was in Dambulla in Sri Lanka almost two years ago. He has picked up 20 wickets in 16 ODIs at 30.05. "The new season starts with this tour," he said. "Irrespective of the format, if you hit form early, it helps you to carry on with the momentum."

Ojha, who plays for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy, has been practicing with his domestic side and has also played some club matches in Chennai. He is part of a three-man specialist spin line-up for the tour of Sri Lanka, along with offspinner R Ashwin and legspinner Rahul Sharma. "I have been trying out a few variations in the nets," Ojha said. "But I would only try bowling those deliveries once I am fully confident about using those deliveries in match situations.

"Me and Ashwin have played against each other and together (for South Zone) since our U-16 days. When a quality bowler like Ashwin operates from the other end, you also get confidence."

The squad also includes Ajinkya Rahane, back from an impressive IPL in which he finished as the fourth-highest run-getter. He made 560 runs at an average of 40 and also scored a couple of half-centuries in the limited-overs leg of the India A tour of the West Indies in June. "By nature, I am a positive person and I always like to look at the brighter side of things. During the final phase of the A tour, I scored 79 in the Twenty20 and 58 in a one-day match," Rahane told PTI. "Those two innings boosted my confidence and will hold me in good stead ahead of Sri Lanka series."

Rahane last played for India in December last year. "The key to performing well overseas is to quickly adapt and adjust to various kind of pitches. I have never played in Sri Lanka but I don't think I will take much time to adjust to the situation out there."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Joe on July 7, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    He hasn't done much to prove his worth infact, he's not even talented.

  • Ashok on July 6, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    My advise to Ojha is to see some slow motion films of Vinoo Mankad. Mankad was a genius. He could vary pace & flight of the ball while bowling at the same spot in length. He could turn the ball or use the armer with deadly accuracy. Being a left hander it is so easy to bowl accurately as proven both by Mankad, Nadkarni & Bedi. Watch the slow motion films of these great bowlers & emulate them. Ojha can be a most effective bowler in ODI if he has the guile & control of Mankad and accuracy of Nadkarni. The real problem is will Dhoni play him in the XI? One good thing is there is no Jadeja to rob his spot. Ojha & Ashwin as a duo won the series against WI & then Dhoni calmly benched Ojha in all ODI's in favour of Jadeja - the fielder!.India needs wicket taking bowlers. Jadeja's fielding alone will not compensate for lack of bowling. All rounders should not substitute the specialist bowlers. Ojha & Ashwin should operate in tandem as duo. Same applies to Rahul Sharma. MSD - Pl. wake up!

  • Rajan on July 6, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    Good luck to both but i dont know how many games rahane will play

  • sam on July 6, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Sir, I thought what I said in my first comment was fairly obvious. Pragyan Ojha is the most reliable spinner in the country. Simply because he generally bowls a good line which is essential to keep the pressure on opposition batsmen in tests. Ashwin started promisingly but of late has begun bowling that irritatingly leg-sidish line of Harbhajan. Amit Mishra bowls one rank bad ball every over so isn't exactly fit for test cricket. I had hope on Rahul Sharma because he was tall and could bowl good lines and get a bit of turn and bounce but he has done nothing of note in the first class arena. Iqbal Abdulla faded in the last Ranji season. Ojha has a couple of weaknesses he can work on though. Firstly, he should learn to vary his pace more (like Vettori) and develop a faster one that turns (like Abdur Rehman of Pakistan). Secondly, he can work on his arm ball and make it more deceptive. That's what I meant when I said that he is not the finished article

  • Dhruv on July 6, 2012, 2:50 GMT

    I would say they should of taken Irfan Pathan in Sri Lanka because these days Sri Lankan pichtes are becoming more faster bowler picth rather than a turning pitch and the team would do better. My team selection would of been Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Rohit, Rhane, Dhoni, Irfan, R Aswhin, Zaheer/Vinay, Ojha, Umesh/ Dinda

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    @SamRoy Ojha was not playing many ODIs only because of presence of Yuvraj and the rise of Ashwin. He did very well against Lankans (Dhoni mostly selected him vs Lanka, I wonder why?). IPL is mentioned because Ojha has been a standout there (leading spinner) for all seasons unlike Harby and Mishra. who is this 'reliable' spinner you are talking about? I see only Ashwin and he is not dropped.

  • Ebenesh on July 5, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Ashwin, Ojha and Mishra instead of Rahul would have been more attacking in SL conditions..... If Irfan was there 3 specialist spinners can play, especially when playing England or Southafrica on turning pitches.

  • Ravin on July 5, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    One man who deserves his chance. Do well Ojha !

  • Praveen on July 5, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    Wish you all the best Mr. Ojha. Nice to see you are up to challenge; it's time now to show your skills. Bowling your variations in game against Srilanka will be helpful for India. Think bigger and do it. Go Ojha Go!!

  • Aswin on July 5, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    How ridiculous Rahane's statement is:He is ignoring his failures in the true format of Four day cricket and happy with his performances in the hit and miss format .

    BTW why do cricinfo staff always mention about ipl statistics of a recalled ' dropped player? What is the connection between slogging in a t20 against club teams and playing 50 over games against quality opposition?

  • No featured comments at the moment.