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Ojha makes a point with wickets

It is never easy for a player to be in and out of the team. It is even worse if he is in the squad but doesn't make it to the eleven because he is considered a bowler who checks the scoring than take wickets. Shalabh Manocha reports.

cricket Updated: Oct 05, 2011 00:16 IST
Shalabh Manocha

It is never easy for a player to be in and out of the team. It is even worse if he is in the squad but doesn't make it to the eleven because he is considered a bowler who checks the scoring than take wickets.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha however has learnt to take that in his stride. On Tuesday, he claimed his 12th five-wicket haul to push Rest of India closer to victory against Ranji Champions Rajasthan in the Irani Cup and take a big step towards underlining his abilities as a wicket-taker.

The Hyderabad bowler picked two wickets on Monday and claimed three more to dismiss Rajasthan for 400, when the hosts were fighting back through Ashok Menaria and Deepak Chahar on a track helpful for pacers.

The 25-year-old, who first played an ODI in June 2008 and Test a year later, has been part of the squad in many more series, but played only 16 ODIs and 11 Tests. Ojha does not agree that he merely does a containment job. "Here it was a dream pitch only helpful for pacers but I kept the pressure on at my end and finished well."

Ojha was a part of the India squad in England but didn't get a game there. However, he proved a success for Surrey around the same time, picking up 24 wickets in 5 games.

"I knew if I bowled to my strength I will get wickets. Keeping the runs in check also helps to pick wickets," he said.

Staying on the fringes of the national team does not bother him. "I do not think too much about failures and try to perform to the best of my ability as being negative doesn't help."