Ojha: 'O'Keefe attacked the stumps more in Pune Test'

Pragyan Ojha, who's playing for Bengal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with his hope of making an India comeback burning bright, shares his thoughts about the Pune Test.

“They (Australians) have done their homework. I know Darren Lehmann well. He was my coach at Deccan Chargers. He’s a very smart guy.”   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Pragyan Ojha has been to hell and back. Adjudged  man of the match in the last Test he played – against the West Indies in Mumbai, 2013 – the left-arm spinner saw his career plunge into darkness when his bowling action came under International Cricket Council (ICC) scrutiny.

He saw motes of light though, got his action remodelled, and has been among wickets in domestic cricket. Representing Bengal in the Vijay Hazare one-day competition here, the left-arm spinner has been impressive, sporting half sleeves, running in straighter, having a slight rock-back and a pause in his action and delivering cleanly.

While he is bullish about his India comeback, the 30-year-old Ojha – he has 113 Test wickets in 24 Tests at 30.26 – shared his thoughts on the ongoing India-Australia Test series.

He said “I expect India to come back strongly in Bengaluru, but the spinners need to bowl closer to the stumps. The difference between the Indian and the Australian spinners in the first Test was that O’Keefe and Lyon attacked the stumps more, O’ Keefe in particular. They made the batsmen play and found the edges.”

Ojha observed, “O’Keefe also bowled more up, got the batsmen to drive off the front foot and got the nicks. Our spinners are very good but they just need to make the small adjustments.”

He added, “I played against O’Keefe in the ‘A’ series here in Chennai a couple of seasons ago. He bowled well then too, hit good areas from a rather round-arm action.”

The Australians had come well prepared, said Ojha. “They have done their homework. I know Darren Lehmann well. He was my coach at Deccan Chargers. He’s a very smart guy.”

“But I am sure the Indians will be a different proposition in the second Test,” he said.

In that Test in Mumbai four years ago, Ojha actually had a match haul of 10 wickets. After a bizarre, career-threatening slump, he has done well to stay afloat.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :