Mumbai: Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha today dedicated his five-wicket haul to retiring batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is playing the 200th and final Test match of his illustrious career.
Riding on Ojha's superb show with the ball, India bundled out the hapless West Indies for a meagre 182 runs in their first innings and then went on to score 157 for two in the second Test of Tendulkar's farewell series.
"It's a great feeling getting five wickets in a special Test match like this. When you get a five-wicket haul, it holds a special place for you. I would like to dedicate this haul to Sachin paaji. It is a special one. I am happy that I got this haul in his (Sachin) 200th Test," Ojha told reporters after the end of first day's play here.
Ojha said he did not mind his performance getting overshadowed by Tendulkar show at the Wankhede Stadium.
"This Test match belongs to Sachin paaji. It's a special one. We want him to get a lot of runs in this Test match. I don't mind my performance getting overshadowed," he said.
While Ojha grabbed the spotlight in the first half of the day, it was the retiring legend, who held centrestage in the last session with his unbeaten 38.
The 27-year old Ojha, who was a bit unlucky in the first Test, was pick of the bowlers grabbing five for 40 in 11.2 overs in the second session of the day.
Ojha said the players were glued to their places when Tendulkar walked out to bat at exactly 3:33 pm to the deafening applause from the near-packed stadium.
"Everybody is a fan of Sachin paaji. When he walked out to bat, everyone was just standing or sitting where they were. We want him to play as long as he could. Everybody wants him to get runs in this Test match," he said, adding the other Indian batsmen would also look to pile on the misery on the visiting bowlers. Ojha feels he and the other off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin are bowling well in tandem.
"I think, it's a great partnership. We understand each other well. I am happy that we have been able to execute the plans well. It's important that we are performing well for India," he said.
The West Indies batsmen struggled against the spinners and Ojha said the lateral movement and bounce on the pitch assisted them.
"There was bounce on the wicket. When the ball got a little older, it started turning a bit. So, it was all about following the basics and keeping things tight. Just bowling there and creating pressure," he said.
"I was enjoying my bowling there. I enjoyed taking a five-wicket haul in Mumbai. The wicket was doing everything. I just wanted to go there and bowl. I wanted to give my best," he added.
Ojha said his good form in the last domestic season has helped him in the Test series.
"All the credit goes to the domestic season. I always feel it's important to go back to domestic cricket and performing there. If you perform consistently there, as my seniors had advised, they (selectors) will notice you. I thank God that I got another opportunity and got a five-wicket haul," said Ojha, who plays for Hyderabad....