Modern-day cricket is all about batsmen. Be it the rules or the wickets on offer, bowlers have their task cut out. And when it comes to the slam-bang version of the game – T20 cricket – it is all about the number of sixes hit and the number of boundaries scored. Bowlers have no place in the fans’ hearts as they are just looking for the big hits.
While bowlers as a whole are treated with complete disdain by the batsmen in the shortest format of the game, things only get worse if you are a spinner. But then Mumbai Indians spinner Pragyan Ojha says that containing opposition batsmen in T20 cricket is indeed a challenge, but one that he relishes.
Ojha was quoted by Mail Today as saying that with the IPL set to start in a couple of days, Ojha said that even though batsmen are looking to attack spinners every ball, it also opens the avenue of picking wickets.
“There is no doubt that batsmen are looking to hit spinners out of the park in T20 cricket, but then it also helps the spinner because it means the batsman is in an attacking mode and he would take more chances than one normally does. As a result, if you can bowl in the right area and get some variation, it gets difficult for the batsman and brings the bowler into the game.
“I believe that at the end of the day, whatever form of cricket it is, picking wickets is the best way to stop the flow of runs. So when it comes to T20 cricket, the chances of inducing a false shot is that much more as batsmen have very little time to settle down and then start hitting out,” he said.
While people keep talking about how well-built players can actually intimidate opposition players – Chris Gayle being a good example – Ojha feels that cricket today is more a mental game than a physical one. “I feel not only cricket, but every sport nowadays is more about the mental aspect than the physical aspect. The reason is very simple.
With the amount of technology that has come into our lives, it isn’t too difficult to find physical strengths and weaknesses of individuals. But reading someone’s mind is impossible. “So from a spinner’s perspective, I would say that while everyone knows that I am a left-arm spinner, nobody knows when I will bowl a flighted delivery and when I will bowl it fast. So a batsman needs to think when he is facing me just like I have to think how he is planning to attack me.
“Yes, it does help if you are well-built, but then, I would say the mental to physical ratio would be 70:30,” he said.
While Mumbai Indians have one of the strongest teams in the IPL, they haven’t managed to clinch the title in five years so far. But Ojha feels that the team is in great shape and hopefully they will finally emerge champions.
“We have been gelling really well and have at times been unlucky not to fire at the right time. But all that is now in the past and we are looking to win the IPL this time. I feel we have a very balanced team and it is all about getting into the zone,” he said.
Ojha feels Anil Kumble joining the team will be a great plus. “With Anil bhai coming in, it is a great move. He is so experienced and we have so much to learn from him. We already had Sachin paaji and Robin Singh and now with Anil bhai joining us and also Ricky Ponting, wait till you see some surprises that we have up our sleeves,” he signed off.