Pragyan Ojha, 22, belongs to one of the rarest breeds of cricketers in India, who are tipped to carry forward the legacy of left arm spin from the legendary Vinoo Mankad, Bishan Singh Bedi and Dilip Doshi. Though he is still in his early days (only 9 ODIs old), Pragyan showed glimpses of talent in the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka, by claiming 7 wickets in the series. He has been duly rewarded by being granted a berth in Team India ODI squad for the New Zealand tour. In a conversation with Zeecric.com’s Biswajit Jha, Pragyan reveals several aspects of his game, his immediate challenges and numerous other issues.
Excerpts from the interview:
Are you happy with your recent performance in Sri Lanka?
I am happy that finally I made some contribution to the team’s success, but overall I have to improve a lot.
The four-wicket haul in the third ODI must have encouraged you a lot…
After those four wickets in the 3rd ODI, I realized that I certainly belonged to the bigger league and can be successful. It really increased my confidence level.
Being a spinner, how difficult is it to bowl in the ODIs?
It’s difficult, but it is challenging also. Unlike the Test matches, you have to concentrate more on line and length. There is very little margin for error in ODIs or T20s.
What strategy do you generally adopt for the ODIs?
As I told you that I follow a simple theory of maintaining line and length in ODIs. I generally don’t experiment too much.
Were you expecting a Test call-up for New Zealand tour after your success in Lanka?
To be honest I was expecting a Test call-up. But I will concentrate what I was entrusted to do by the selectors.
But you must know that there won’t be much of a purchase for the spinners in New Zealand?
I know. But if you keep good line and length in ODIs, you will be successful. I am really eager to perform well in New Zealand.
It’s said that to do well as a spinner, one needs to have a good captain to back him up? How is Dhoni as a captain?
He is really a great captain. He always encourages you to perform well.
What’s your main strength as a spinner?
Keeping good line and length and beating the batsman in flight are my fortes.
Since you are playing ODIs, are you giving more importance to batting and fielding?
These days I am really working hard in nets to improve my batting.
How does Harbhajan Singh guide young spinners like you in the team?
He has really been a great help. He has lot of experience of playing at the highest level. That really helps us. Not only Harbhajan, every senior member of the side helps me with his experience.