IPL 2014: Naman Ojha hopes to continue batting at 3
It is true that a cricketer’s real talent is tested in times of pressure. India’s wicket-keeper batsman, Naman Ojha who is playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in this season of the IPL proved that by scoring a brilliant 79 runs off 36 balls for his team when they set out to face this season’s most powerful team Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday. Ojha, who has scored 141 runs in this edition so far, revealed that he enjoys batting at No.3 for SRH as he gets time to shape his innings.
“I would love to continue batting at No.3. I am enjoying that responsibility of building an innings and scoring when needed the most. When I play at No.5 or 6, it gets difficult to hit from ball-one, whereas I have the time to shape my innings when I bat at the top,” said Ojha.
“Bowlers at the death, at times, bowl in the block hole, which gets difficult for a batsman to hit; whereas, at the top of the innings when the field restrictions are still on, there is a scope to score more freely,” he added.
Although Ojha’s brilliant knock did not help his team win against KXIP, Ojha was pleased with his performance and said: “I enjoyed my batting a lot. I would have loved it even more if the result had gone our way, but things like these are a part and parcel of the game, and one needs to move on. We know we gave our 100 per cent on the field and we are happy with that.”
The 30-year-old went on to thank coach Tom Moody for his support and encouragement.
“Our coach, Tom Moody, asked me to play as freely as I could. He also told me not to get into any kind of pressure or get into a thought that I had to get a lot of runs under my belt. He just advised me to focus on the day and play with a lot of freedom. I had a good opportunity today and I am glad I made good use of it. I was just asked to be positive and back myself,” Ojha said.
With the presence of international players such as the hard-hitting David Warner in the team, Ojha admitted that it had been a great opportunity for him to learn about batting.
“I think it is a pleasure to bat with David Warner. He is a very busy player who always looks to take a lot of singles and doubles while batting. He also hits the odd six or boundary every now and then, which takes away a bit of pressure from whoever is batting with him,” Ojha added.
Ojha did not stop himself from praising the ‘most talked about’ player of this season of the IPL Glenn Maxwell. Speaking about the Australian, Ojha said: “It is a good learning curve and a joy to watch the way Maxwell plays. There is a lot to learn, given the way he bats and the way he gets into various positions while hitting those sixes.”