In Ishant’s absence, Zaheer did the job for us: Ojha

Mohali: Despite losing speedster Ishant Sharma to a knee injury, India spinner Pragyan Ojha preferred to stay postitive after the hosts restricted Australia to 224 for five at stumps on Day One of the first Test here on Friday.

Ishant was forced to leave the field after complaining of knee problems while bowling his eighth over, halfway into the opening day.

“He (Ishant) has gone for a scan and treatment is on,” Ojha, who bowled the bulk of the overs but without any luck, said after the day’s play.

Asked if having an extra pacer bowler would have helped, Ojha replied in the positive. “Yes, it would have been great had Ishant too been there. But Zak (Zaheer) did the job for us,” he said.

Ishant (0-49) struggled to find the right line and bowled a number of no balls, helping the Australian duo of Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson collect some easy runs and set the platform for a formidable score.

But the hosts rode on Zaheer Khan’s late strikes to share first day honours with the Aussies.

Traditionally known for its bounce and movement, the PCA wicket was on the slower side today, but Ojha is hoping to get some help from the pitch in the days to come.

“I bowled an attacking line, on to the stumps. I was bowling a perfect line, waiting for them to make mistakes,” he said.

Asked about the dropped chances, including the one off centurion Watson’s bat, Ojha said that happens in a game. “In a game couple of catches go down, but at the end of the day we made a comeback,” he said.