Going into the series against England, Pragyan Ojha was touted as India's trump card against the big-hitting Kevin Pietersen, given the latter's vulnerability against left-arm spinners.
The Orissa lad had told HT before the start of the series that he had an advantage over the South Africa-born England cricketer, but said he would like to get the man first before talking. “Let me claim his wicket then I can say I got him out,” Ojha had said.
The tweaker was clearly delighted after bagging the prized wicket on Day Three of the first Test in Ahmedabad.
“There was assistance from the wicket and I knew if I kept hitting the right areas, I would get him. He (KP) has a weakness against left-arm spinners.” But, Ojha warned that getting the star batsman in their first contest didn't mean it would be any easier in their future battles.
“It's a great thing I got his wicket. But, I personally feel, I shouldn't be taking it easy because he is a very good batsman with vast experience and has got loads of runs to his credit.”
The first session on Saturday was going to be crucial and Ojha turned the momentum decisively in the home team's favour when he followed KP's dismissal with the wicket of Ian Bell.
Both were trying to attack the spinners and Ojha felt that when batsmen try that against him, it increases his chances of success.
“The way Pietersen and Bell were playing, it gave me confidence. The key was to be patient and hit the right areas,” he added. The Hyderabad lad said, “Getting a five-for against a good side like England is the most satisfying thing, especially in the first session,” adding, “But it's a big series and lot of hard work has to be done as it is just the beginning.”
The spinner also said that the first session on Day Four would be crucial and India would be looking to take early wickets.
Was it a ‘fun discussion’ or an argument?
Umpires are having a pretty difficult time in the opening Test. They haven’t got a few leg-before decisions right, triggering the debate on the DRS not being used in this series.
In an incident, replayed on TV many times over, MS Dhoni was seen having an animated discussion with Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar.
He didn’t look pleased with something, but it couldn’t be ascertained whether he was unhappy with some decision or Dar was warning Dhoni for excessive appealing.
“I think they were having a fun discussion, may be. I have no idea,” said Pragyan Ojha.