Cuttack: Fresh from a hugely successful Test series against the West Indies, India`s new spin hero Pragyan Ojha on Sunday revealed that he gained heavily from the tips of Sachin Tendulkar who helped him out with some finer points.
"Sachin always gives you that energy on the field. He advises me all the finer points like how to deceive a batsman. How to deceive in flight... His tips have helped me in getting at least 10-15 Test wickets," Ojha who is considered as a Test specialist said.
"I remembered one sentence by Sachin Tendulkar who would tell me if you love the game, you don`t need anything to motivate you. I always wanted to play and that kept me going," Ojha said.
"It was a very important series and a great comeback for me. The important thing was I could contribute to the team`s win and played a major role. I knew it would be a very important series for me in a crucial phase of my career," he said.
Ojha along with senior statemate VVS Laxman will be playing for Hyderabad in a Plate League match starting from November 29 as he is not playing ODIs.
"I did not play international cricket for about one year. But I never had that negative feeling. I always stayed positive which resulted in this performance."
He termed his county stint as something that changed him as a bowler.
"Even when I was not with the team and played county in England, I would practice with the Indian team touring at that point of time. In fact, Anilbhai played a key role in me getting a chance to play for Surrey. They were looking for an Indian spinner and Alec Stewart had got in touch with Anilbhai who had recommended my name. I`m really thankful to him," he recalled how his association with Surrey started.
Ojha credited his performance to hard work and perseverance and support from family.
Playing alongside Ravichandran Ashwin since his U-16 days has helped him a lot and that has reflected in their brilliant performance as they have taken 42 out of the 60 West Indies wickets even in the absence of Harbhajan Singh.
"I know him since my under-16 days. We have played a couple of matches together for the South Zone. So there is this element of understanding between us. We knew what we were supposed to do and just stuck to the plans. I try to keep things very simple.”
"But I`ve to keep performing. My coach (Vijay Paul) has told me that never take your place for granted. You have to keep working hard every single day," the left-arm spinner seemed to be rooted to the reality.
About the tough Australia series beginning on Boxing Day, Ojha said: "Australia series would be a big one. I have never played there and have no idea about the conditions there. I just want to go there and give my 100 percent."
In the final Test, Ojha led the way to force a dramatic Windies collapse taking three wickets (Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels) which made the final day interesting.
"Yesterday morning, My mind was blank but I was positive. We had a feeling that they may attack us, so it was important to stick to our plans. Thankfully, it worked."
Ojha predicted that it will be a 5-0 `whitewash` in favour of Virender Sehwag and his boys.
"I pray that it will be a 5-0 whitewash. But this West Indies side cannot be taken for granted. They are a good side and we should not underestimate their potential."