5 most underrated Indian spinners
When you talk about cricket in the subcontinent, especially in India, spin bowling will be among the top three talking points. And there is absolutely no doubt that the teams from the subcontinent keep churning out quality spinners.
And India are no exception. They have always produced top-quality spinners. Right from Vinoo Mankad to Subhash Gupte to the spin quartet (BS Chandrasekhar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna and S Venkataraghavan) to the duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh and now Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja along with Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, there has never been a dearth of spinners in India.
However, there have been a few spinners who have played important roles for the side but have never gotten their due. So, here’s a look at five of them:
#5 Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha shot into prominence as the best left-arm spinner to play for India since Bishan Singh Bedi. Ojha made his international debut in June 2008 against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup game and after stringing in some decent limited-overs performances, earned his maiden Test call-up a year later.
India were on the hunt for a spin partner for Harbhajan Singh after Anil Kumble retired and Ojha was one of the front-runners for the spot after decent outings in his first few games (where he picked up 13 wickets in five innings). But it was only in 2011 that Ojha truly began to maximise his potential as a Test bowler.
But, he often played second-fiddle to first Harbhajan and then Ashwin.
Ojha's record shows that he more often than not delivered strong performances when his side were in a spot of bother. In the 24 Tests he played, he took 113 wickets at an average of 30.26 which includes 7 five-wicket hauls.
November 2013 (Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell game) was the last time Ojha played a Test and he has never donned the Indian colours since.