New Delhi, Jul 4: India's spin sensation Pragyan Ojha has said he wants to cement his place in the limited overs format as critics think the left-arm spinner has been quite effective only in the longer version of the game.
Having played 16 ODIs and 6 T20 Internationals, the 25 year old has claimed 20 and 10 wickets respectively in the limited overs formats. Ojha, who has appeared in 14 Tests has grabbed 62 wickets at an average of 34.62 with 7/109 being his best bowling figures in the longer version of the game.
Though he has not been able to cement his place in the team, the left-arm spinner has created an impact in the limited opportunities he has got as he was always considered to be the second choice, as Harbhajan Singh and R Ashwin were considered.
With a strike rate of 12.6 in T20s, he would definitely create an impact in the upcoming ICC world T20 as the conditions would assist spinners.
Five years since his ODI debut, Ojha has not been a regular member of the limited overs format yet, which makes him feel that there is a need to cement his place in the ODI and T20 format at the earliest.
"People feel that I am only good for Test matches. But I have also played in ODIs and would always like to believe that I am good enough to play in all three versions," Ojha told PTI on the eve of Indian team's selection for the five-match ODI tour of Sri Lanka.
Ojha has not played a ODI since August 2010, which might also be a concern while selectors pick the team for the Sri Lankan tour on Wednesday.
"I have been working very hard during the off-season as I was playing for my employers Bharat Petroleum to keep myself match-fit."
"Also, the Hyderabad Ranji Trophy probables are having a camp and I am part of that as well. The selection is not in my hands but I don't want to be caught unprepared in case there is a call-up," the 25-year-old spinner from Hyderabad said.
Though he is the first choice left-arm spinner in Tests, Ojha feels no player should take his place for granted.
"When you play for India, the last thing you do is to take your place in the team for granted. There will always be tough competition and one needs to be fully prepared to give his hundred percent," stated Ojha.
Reacting to comments on his style of bowling and calling him a restrictive bowler, he said he would look up to Indian greats who were also not termed as restrictive bowlers.
"I never considered myself as a restrictive bowler. The bowlers I looked up to are great Bishan Singh Bedi and Venkatapathy Raju and Sunil Joshi. None of them have been restrictive bowlers. The idea is to be consistent and I try to do that. I have always been successful when I have been consistent and forced the batsmen into playing rash shots."
With Pragyan Ojha keen on cementing his ODI and T20 berth, looks like the left-arm spinner is a certainty for the Sri Lanka tour given his record in the last season, moreover since Lankan pitches assist spinners, the 25 year old would likely board the flight to Colombo.