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Double delight for Ojha
Even as the Mumbai Indians were dancing away to glory at Eden Gardens and millions of the fans elsewhere on Sunday, two players had just realised that...
Even as the Mumbai Indians were dancing away to glory at Eden Gardens and millions of the fans elsewhere on Sunday, two players had just realised that they had cut their own slices of Indian Premier League (IPL) history, which only they seem to enjoy for the moment. Hyderabad left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and his Mumbai Indians captain, Rohit Sharma, have become only two cricketers to have been an integral part of two separate IPL winning teams. Ironically, on both occasions, they were teammates. Although, the triumph is yet to sink, Ojha spoke about his inner joy from Kolkata. "Rohit has been a good friend all along. I feel lucky to be part of a winning side twice. The feeling is just awesome and having achieved it in front of the magnificent Eden Gardens crowd was inexplicable. Nothing can be better than that," Ojha said. Ojha and Sharma achieved the rare feat by first being members of the Deccan Chargers outfit that won the second edition of IPL and now as key components of Mumbai Indians, which won its maiden title vanquishing Chennai Super Kings. They were not merely members of the Cup winning teams. Both played decisive roles. For instance, Ojha was the second best bowler for the Chargers with 18 scalps. In the just concluded edition, he did more than his bit. "I can never forget the IPL experience. Looking back, it was during my stint in the inaugural edition that I was first noticed by the national selectors who gave a look in for the subsequent Test series. In a way, the IPL has been the platform to national fame,' said Ojha, who recently became the third fastest Indian bowler to scalp 100 Test victims. He has been receiving accolades from all his seniors, and most significantly from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who initiated the Ojha-R Ashwin combination. He also commands the respect of batsmen from all opposing teams. On the immediate future, Ojha is a bit disappointed because he will not be in the thick of the ensuing Champions Trophy action in England. "I am a little disappointed that I could not get a berth in the Champions Trophy-bound squad. I am positive though that I will get an ODI call soon. Wearing the national cap is an honour and a matter of immense pride,' says Ojha, who could have been an asset on the turners in England. Ironically, Ojha has not played a single Test outside Indian soil. But Ojha is not complaining because that is not in the nature of this humble being, who is humility personified. Nilesh Joshi