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Updated: April 27, 2010 00:05 IST

Ojha's dream run in IPL III

V. V. Subrahmanyam
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SPINNING SUCCESS: Pragyan Ojha poses with the purple cap after he became the highest wicket-taker in IPL III. Photo: K. R. Deepak
SPINNING SUCCESS: Pragyan Ojha poses with the purple cap after he became the highest wicket-taker in IPL III. Photo: K. R. Deepak

For left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha of Deccan Chargers, it was a dream run in the third edition of the Indian Premier League when he emerged as the leading wicket-taker with 21 victims from 16 games.

“The Indian team selection for the ICC World T20 in the West Indies was over within a couple of weeks of the commencement of the IPL III and I was disappointed. I don't want to think too much about it. I am keen to take this momentum into the future.

“It was a dream IPL in many ways for me personally though it was disappointing that we lost in the semifinals,” he told The Hindu on Monday.

“When I received the ‘Purple Cap' for the highest wicket-taker at the IPL awards ceremony, it was one of the most memorable moments of my career,” said Ojha.

Sticking to basics

But, the left-arm spinner was humble when he said that there was always scope for improvement. “I tried to do the same things that I did in the first two editions. I was not trying too many new things. I just stuck to the basics on pitches which were helpful and had some turn,” the 23-year-old Ojha said.

Often Chargers' captain Adam Gilchrist looked to the youngster to provide the breakthroughs and he did not let his captain down. On the turn-around after losing five games in-a-row, Ojha said: “We always knew — even when we lost those games — we were capable of doing better. And, our captain Gilly kept reminding us that it was just a question of one win to get the momentum back.

“And I believe that the win against Royal Challengers in Bangalore was the turning point of our comeback. Suddenly, we rediscovered our self-belief,” Ojha said.

“Personally, the spell against Bangalore was highly satisfying since I sent back Rahul Dravid and Ross Taylor. But, the dismissals of M.S. Dhoni of CSK and Dwayne Bravo of Mumbai Indians made me really proud.

When asked if there was any game-plan while bowling to some of the big names, he said: “Coach Darren Lehmann and the support staff were all involved in not just bowling plans in the entire performance.

“We were aware that being defending champion, expectations were high. But it is unfortunate that we lost in the semifinals to Chennai Super Kings. It is just that we failed to get things right on that day,” he said.

About his personal gains he said: “I am really pleased with the way I bowled. The confidence, rhythm and the momentum are back.

“It gave me immense satisfaction that Dhoni, Dravid, Anil and Harbhajan had some good words to say about my bowling,” he said.

Keywords: IPLDeccan Chargers

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