New Delhi – Delhi Daredevils wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha, who recently relinquished his opening spot to Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, Saturday said he had no problems batting in any position in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ojha, a regular opener for his state Madhya Pradesh and previous IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, gave his spot away to Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene after donning the openers role in the first two matches with skipper Virender Sehwag. The 28-year-old, who now bats at No.7 or 8, averages 19.25 in the IPL this season and has not really set the stadium alight.
“It’s my team’s requirement of me to bat lower down the order and I have no problem batting in any position. My focus is to score as much as possible in the two-three overs I get to play. The best thing is to contribute whatever I can in the team’s victory,” said Ojha on the eve of Daredevils’ clash with Rajasthan Royals.
Daredevils look firm favourites to take one of playoff spots but the wicketkeeper said that they were not looking to far into the future and were taking a game at a time.
“We are concentrating on next game against Rajasthan, not looking too forward,” he said.
Ojha said it was a great opportunity for him to learn from guys like Mahela, Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen.
“I am learning a lot from the seniors, Mahela, Viru bhai and KP have been great help, they are all such experienced players. During practice or in the match they always come and advice me. Sharing a dressing room with these guys is a great experience,” he said.
Ojha, who has played one ODI and two Twenty20s for India, said that a national call-up was not in his hands his job is only to score.
“All I can do from my end is score after that it’s not in my hand. I have also done well in the domestic circuit this season. I am satisfied with my keeping so far, but I am trying to improve everyday,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ojha’s team mate Andre Russell of West Indies said he was “happy and very excited to play here.”
The West-Indian all-rounder has not got an opportunity to prove his worth but he was not disappointed and just wanted to support the team.
“So far I have been sitting out but I remain positive. I can’t wait to get my chance but at the moment the team is great. I feel a little sad sometimes but it’s the way it goes. I still believe I can get into final eleven and whenever I get a chance I want to grasp it with both my hands. I want to give as much support however I can to my team.”
“Even if I don’t get to play this season, so next year I’ll know that I have to catch up. I am just hoping for the best for all the guys, a winning team is a happy team,” said Russell.
Russell said that Australian David Warner would be joining the team Sunday and would be an apt replacement for Pietersen when he leaves for national duty.
“Warner will be coming tomorrow but I doubt he will play. When KP leaves I think Warner will pick up from where KP left off. KP, Mahela and Sehwag are all such nice guys, I have been watching them since my childhood. It is a great learning experience to be rubbing shoulders against such greats,” the West Indian said.