Last week, Team India bowler Pragyan Ojha announced his retirement from all formats of the game. The Hyderabad cricket team star didn’t become a regular member of the international squad, but the four years he spent donning the Men in Blue jersey, Ojha was mostly under the leadership of the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Revered among fans as one of the best captains of the Indian cricket team, MS Dhoni didn’t miss any appraisal from Ojha either, as the spinner referred him as “Bowler’s Captain”.
Pragyan Ojha made his internatioanl debut in an ODI against Bangladesh in 2008, just a year after MS Dhoni took the role of captain for Team India. The 18 ODI and 24 Test cap holder, Ojha had the experience of going shoulder to shoulder with Dhoni across all formats, and revealed that the former captain was a mentor for the Indian bowling squad on field.
In a recent interview, Ojha recalled his five years of international career, when he was in his best form, and was under Dhoni’s captainship. When asked about MS Dhoni, Ojha complimented the iconic wicket keeping batsman for his understanding with the bowlers.
“He (Dhoni) was a bowler’s captain. I strongly believe that a bowler should have a captain who understands him.” Ojha told reporters.
Dhoni is renowned for his reserved and calm headed approach, which in turn was a boon for the bowlers, as Ojha stated the same.
“A lot of bowlers praise Dhoni because of the dimensions he gives you, things that he helps you with like placing the field, keeping your mind clear which are important when you play high-intensity games,” the 33 year old added.
Ojha’s last international appearance was in 2013, where he played in Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell Test match against West Indies, striking a marvellous 10 wicket haul. He was also prolific in the Indian Premier League sides Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians, and won the purple cap in the 2010 season, a year after he won the title with DC.
Dhoni, who is on a hiatus from international cricket since the 2019 world cup, will be back in action in the 2020 Indian Premier League.