Ojha boosted by Surrey stint
Pragyan Ojha has pointed to his recent spell in county cricket with Surrey as a key factor behind his impressive return to India’s Test team.
Left-arm spinner Ojha returned figures of 3-58 from 29 overs on day one of the first Test against West Indies, in his first international appearance for almost a year.
After stumps had been drawn with West Indies on 256 for five, he outlined the importance of his stint at the Kia Oval, which saw him pick up 24 LV= County Championship wickets at an average of 12.95 to help Surrey gain promotion to Division One.
"I spoke to seniors like Anil (Kumble), Harbhajan (Singh), Rahul (Dravid) and (VVS) Laxman when I was out of the team and they all advised me to go and play county cricket,” said Ojha.
“When you play there, you are given a lot of responsibility and they expect you to win games for them. That helps you grow as a cricketer.”
Although Ojha was the pick of India’s attack today, his performance was somewhat overshadowed by the efforts of a player who has enjoyed several spells in English domestic cricket.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, formerly of Durham, Lancashire and Warwickshire, struck 111 not out to lead a recovery from 72 for three and Ojha was quick to express admiration for the veteran West Indian’s courageous display.
“Chanderpaul is one of the legends of the game and he has played very well here,” added the 25-year-old. “The amount of experience he has is amazing. I really enjoyed bowling against him and, while he was batting, there were a couple of half-chances while he was sweeping when the ball fell short of square-leg.
“It is a great battle bowling to a legend and hopefully I will get him out."