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An absolute team man, Naman Ojha of the Delhi Daredevils defied health concerns to join his team ahead of IPL 2012. The wicketkeeper-batsman has been flexible when it comes to his batting position and has adjusted his game to meet his team’s needs. He has also managed to put up an impressive performance so far.
Speaking to iplt20.com, Ojha revealed how he adapts to various situations, and works on his game and fitness.
Excerpts from his brief interaction:
On being unwell before joining DD, and how he is managing to stay fit
I was unwell. I had jaundice, so I was trying to [eat] less oily food and rest. Taking rest was important, because I had become very weak. So, I try and eat safe food.
I shouldn’t have really played, but still I took a risk and played, and it paid off. I performed well and now also I ensure that I eat the right kind of food and rest properly.
On adapting to the various forms of cricket
The four-day format is very important. If you do well there, then you can adapt to any format. Twenty20 cricket seems easy, but it is not; it is difficult. You have to remain focused and not get too excited and control your shots. On how he mentally trains for that
We have a yoga teacher who teaches us techniques of yoga and that helps
On who has been working with for his wicketkeeping
Kiran More sir coaches me for my keeping. I go to him and learn. He guides me. And I continue to work hard on the ground, and that is helping me improve. I am confident that I am doing the best keeping this season.
On which international wicketkeeper he tries to emulate
All the keepers in international cricket are good. There is MS Dhoni; Mathew Wade from Australia is also good.
[But] I haven’t spoken to Dhoni about keeping in particular. On how he adjusts to batting lower down the order after being an opener
It is a little difficult, but according to the team’s requirement you have to play [wherever required]. Try to perform well wherever I get the opportunity. It is different to bat up the order and lower down the order. When you are batting up the order, you can take some time [...] but when you are playing lower down the order you don’t have time; you have to play the shots, so it is a little challenging. So, it is important that you have to back yourself On what he has learnt from DD teammate, Mahela Jayawardene
Batting is always the same; it is the attitude that he has, which is very important. He plays all matches with the same intensity, whether it [is] for Sri Lanka or a Twenty20 match for DD. And he contributes the same things in the same way in the team meeting. I think that is important. These are the things that you have to learn. Otherwise in cricket, after a point, there isn’t anything that different. It is the mental strength and attitude that is important. […]
1 The victory margin for the Delhi Daredevils. It was the third occasion of a side registering a win by one run in the IPL. The other two such instances were both recorded by Kings XI Punjab. They beat the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2008 and Deccan Chargers in IPL 2009 by this slim margin.
2 For only the second time in IPL history, a chasing side lost a match outright with seven wickets still in hand! Kings XI Punjab (174/3) lost to the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2009.
3 Number of batsmen to hit 200 fours in the IPL. Virender Sehwag (207) joined Sachin Tendulkar (226) and Gautam Gambhir (213).
4 Number of consecutive fifties scored by Virender Sehwag – the first batsman to do this in the IPL.
9 Number of innings taken by Ajinkya Rahane to complete his 400 runs in IPL 2012. He equalled Jacques Kallis’ record of reaching the 400-run mark in the least innings in an IPL season. Kallis had reached the 400-run mark in IPL 2012 while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. 14 Number of 50-plus scores for Virender Sehwag in the IPL – the most by any batsman. He equalled the tallies of Jacques Kallis and Shaun Marsh. 101 Number of sixes hit by Virender Sehwag in Twenty20 matches.
416 Runs scored by Ajinkya Rahane in IPL 2012 – the most by any batsman. He surpassed Virender Sehwag’s tally of 372, who had himself overtaken Chris Gayle (336) earlier in the same game.