I am really glad to be bowling again: Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha, who was banned from bowling last year due to a suspect bowling action, made a sensational comeback to domestic cricket by racking up three wickets in his second over in a Ranji Trophy match against Himachal Pradesh. He talked to bcci.tv in an interview in which he expressed his relief at getting over the whole episode and what changes he had to made in his quest to come back after being barred to bowl in official matches.
The spinner was cleared to play in domestic cricket by the BCCI recently and he credited his coaches and friends for helping him make the comeback.
Ojha said, “I am really glad that I could flush this whole thing out of my system and come back to bowl again. I would give the credit to the testing academy (BCCI designated) coaches, D Vasu and M Venkataramana and also to some of my childhood friends who have played Ranji Trophy with me, who were always there to help me out.”
“It is a second innings”
On being asked how it felt playing in an official match, Ojha said, “It was very different mentally. No matter how much you practice in the nets, it is totally different when you walk out to bowl in a match.
“I was a bit nervous when I went out there because things were not the same and everybody was looking forward to seeing me bowl and what changes I have made in my bowling. It was a different feeling and I am glad that things turned out well. I bowled 42 overs and it all worked out fine.
“It is a second innings for me. I was out for 15-20 days and I really missed playing this season. What I am grateful for is that I could make a comeback very soon.
“I’ve straightened up my run-up”
Ojha highlighted the changes he made to his bowling action in his time out off the pitch.
He said, “I worked with my run-up and then my follow-through. An important thing I worked on was the transfer of weight. When you’re bowling, your body weight has to transfer in a natural way. Earlier, I wasn’t able to do that properly and that led to me using the wrong muscles, which created the problem.
“Earlier, I had a diagonal run-up and I was going too far across. Because of that I wasn’t able to transfer my body weight the way I should have. Now I have straightened it up so that my body approaches the crease in a smooth manner and my balance remains good right until the follow-through.”
“Needed to accept the changes mentally”
He said that the biggest challenge that he had to face was make up his mind for the changes made.
“The biggest challenge was to get the ball to land in the right areas with the new run-up and extract the same amount of turn and bounce that I got with the old run-up,” Ojha said.
“The most delicate thing in the whole process was accepting the changes mentally. You can push your body to do anything but if your mind doesn’t accept it, you will not be able to implement the changes.
“I am confident that with these adjustments I can have the same amount of impact with the ball that I used to. I am also confident that I can succeed on any kind of wicket. I really do hope to get a chance to play for India again soon and I look forward to it,” he concluded.