Naman Ojha admits he is not focused on whether he plays for India again
What’s the story?
Indian Wicketkeeper Naman Ojha admitted that thinking about playing for India again doesn’t help him flourish in the domestic circuit. The 33-year-old last played for India in a Test match against Sri Lanka in 2015 and has since seen Parthiv Patel usurp him but he wants to focus on his domestic form and see where it takes him.
Speaking to TOI, Naman Ojha admitted he hasn’t given too much thought about playing for India again. He said: “I'm not even thinking about all these at the moment. I have stopped over-thinking. I have realized that it doesn't help. It only brings frustration. If I keep thinking about why am I not making it to the national side despite being there at the threshold for so long, I will never get big scores even in domestic matches. I have been focusing on my batting and 'keeping and hopefully will do better in the coming months.”
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Naman Ojha has represented India in all three formats and even played for the India A team during the series against Australia A last year. He made his ODI and T20I debut against Zimbabwe in 2010 and played his solitary Test against Sri Lanka at Colombo in 2015 after impressing in the previous A series tour of Australia where he scored back-to-back centuries.
With nearly 9,000 first-class runs to his name at an average of over 40, Ojha certainly has an impressive first-class record, even if he was overlooked in favor of the in-form Parthiv Patel when Wriddhiman Saha suffered an injury.
At the age of 33, with Parthiv Patel already establishing himself as the backup keeper in Tests and KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni in the limited-overs set-up, it looks unlikely that Ojha will add to his four international caps.
Ojha is currently playing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Madhya Pradesh after impressing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Central Zone. He will hope to keep up his good form and continue that in the tenth edition of the IPL, which will see him feature for the defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad. His IPL campaign will begin on April 5 in what will be a repeat of last year’s final as SRH take on Royal Challengers Bangalore.
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As an international cricketer, it is always difficult to come to the realization that you might not play for your country anymore or not get picked. Considering the options India have, it seems unlikely Ojha will represent his country and his decision to not worry about whether a call from the selectors will come or not and concentrate on his form makes sense. Who knows, a productive IPL 2017 might just catapult him back into the reckoning for a national call-up.