Former captain and India A coach Rahul Dravid today heaped praise on Pragyan Ojha, saying it was great to see the left-arm spinner bowl wearing a half sleeve shirt after being suspended for illegal action in December last year.
Ojha took five for 85 in the first innings of Australia A and added one wicket in the visiting team’s incomplete second essay in the first unofficial ‘Test’ against India A, which ended in a draw here.
“It is really great to see him bowl with half sleeve T-shirt. He has taken the bull by the horn and said look I have nothing to hide and I want to bowl with a half sleeve T-shirt. He must be applauded for that as he has gone and said that I am confident with my action, I am confident in my bowling and confident enough to wear a half sleeve T-shirt,” Dravid said.
“For me, that is a really good sign. He had lot of success playing for the country. A lot of cricket coming up. The more he performs and the more he bowls well like this, he is going to keep pushing other people, who are in the India team,” he said at the post-match press conference.
Ojha’s action was cleared by the BCCI in February this year after he was tested again at the new testing facility at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College here following an extensive corrective programme.
“He was getting the ball to turn. He bowled to the left handers as well with the rough. On the whole, it was terrific and nice to see him coming back. It is not an easy thing to come back, it requires mental strength and fortitude to be able to come back,” said the former Karnataka batsman.
Elaborating on the specifics of Ojha’s performance in the match, Dravid said: “He varied his speeds as well. He was able to realise that on a wicket like this, which is slow and not helping, he has to quicken his pace up and was quicker through the air. Generally his control was good.”
Dravid also applauded young batsman Shreyas Iyer, saying he was a positive and an attacking player, who is expected to improve with time.
“He is a positive and an attacking player and has got runs. He was one of the highest scorers in the Ranji Trophy. He is playing in a particular manner. He, in fact, changed the momentum of the game in the first innings. On a slow wicket like this, you come and change the momentum is terrific. In general, he will keep learning,” said the former skipper.
“He is a 21-year-old boy and he is going to keep improving and learning. His natural instinct is attacking and personally I never reckon that he shies away from that,” he added.