India spinner Pragyan Ojha Thursday dedicated his five-wicket haul on the first day of the second Test against the West Indies to Sachin Tendulkar, who is playing his 200th and final Test at the Wankhede Stadium here.
“It is an honour to play alongside Sachin paaji and I dedicate this five-wicket haul to him,” said Ojha.
The left-arm spinner ran through the West Indies batting line-up with his five for 40, sixth fifer, and helped skittle them for 182 runs in the first innings. Ojha formed a great partnership with offie Ravichandran Ashwin, who took three for 45.
“The track had some bounce and turn. So, I was just looking to stick to the basics and put the ball in the right areas,” said Ojha.
Ojha said spin bowling is all about doing well in tandem.
“Bowling is also about partnerships and, when bowling with Ashwin, it was important to support each other. The pitch had offered a lot more bounce. So I was trying to bowl slower and was looking to mix up the pace of his deliveries,” he said.
Asked if his five-wicket haul was overshadowed by Tendulkar’s sublime unbeaten 38, Ojha said: “I’m not thinking of such things at all. This is a special Test match. This is Sachin paaji’s Test match. I am just happy and honoured at getting a chance to play in this special match.”
On the atmosphere in the dressing room when Tendulkar came out to bat, Ojha said: “We all gave him a standing ovation. It was a great moment for the team, because we are seeing him bat for the last time. It would be a moment to remember for the team.”
Ojha also said that he was not thinking much about the forthcoming trip to South Africa, where he could be dropped in favour of an extra pacer.
“Not thinking too much about that tour. My job is to perform,” he said.