I didn’t take Pietersen lightly: Ojha
Ahmedabad, Nov 17: In his first innings of this Test series, Kevin Pietersen was dismissed by a left-arm spinner. While it may no more come as a shock to anyone, it sure has added to the mystery as to what exactly is ailing Pietersen when he sees a left-arm slow bowler at the other end. We tried to solve it by asking the man who got his wicket today. But Pragyan Ojha gave nothing away. For him, Pietersen’s wicket was a result of his discipline and patience, just as the other four scalps of his five-wicket haul were.
After dismissing half the England team in the first innings, which led to the visitors succumbing to 191 runs, Ojha, in his interview with bcci.tv, was quick to recognise the contribution of his bowling colleagues in his success.
You and Ashwin have been having a ball bowling together of late, aren’t you?
It’s been great bowling in tandem with Ashwin; sometimes he picks up wickets and sometimes I do. This is a big series for us. We’ve done well so far and we hope to keep it up.
Did Kevin Pietersen’s fallibility against left-arm spin give you an upper-hand while bowling to him?
I haven’t put in a lot of thought into it. I know that the wicket is helping me and if I bowl in the right areas things will happen for me. I wasn’t focusing on his weakness. Yes, he’s gotten out to left-arm spinners too often, but having said that, he’s a quality batsman and I told myself that despite his perceived weakness I shouldn’t be taking him lightly.
Anil Kumble recently told us that you need to work on your arm-ball to become a more complete bowler
I’m trying to work on my arm-ball. Anil bhai is such a person that any piece of advice from him would be a great help for me and I’m really looking forward to talking to him. I want to plan out certain things and learn how to bowl different kinds of balls. If he feels that the arm-ball will help me pick a lot of wickets, I’ll definitely try and use it more often.
What do you admire the most in Ashwin’s bowling?
He’s got good control over his variations; he’s got the carrom ball and now he’s developed another mystery ball, which I’d like to keep a secret until he uses it in a game. He’s working on some other things as well and it’s really amazing to bowl alongside him.
What was the biggest factor behind your five-for in the first innings?
I got a five-for but credit goes to Ashwin who was outstanding and created a lot of pressure. Even Zak pa (Zaheer Khan) and Umesh (Yadav) bowled really well, which helped me get the wickets I got. They all bowled their hearts out. That’s how a bowling unit works and that’s how you enjoy your cricket. I appreciate the support that I’m getting from my fellow bowlers.
Are you looking forward to playing as a spin triplet sometime in the series?
It will be great to play with both Ashwin and Bhajji pa against these batsmen, but the decision rests with the management.
Did you see a marked improvement in England’s batting in the second innings?
They batted well in the second innings and I won’t deny that. But the wicket slowed down a bit in the second innings and didn’t help us the way it did in the first innings. However, the first innings will play a crucial part in deciding the result of this match and we’re happy to have an upper hand right now.
Are you aiming to finish off this match tomorrow itself?
I wouldn’t be too ambitious. But if we win the first session, we have a good chance of finishing off the game tomorrow.