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Azhar asks Ojha to bowl from closer to stumps.

WHEN left- arm spinner Pragyan Ojha bumped into Mohammad Azharuddin here, the former India captain gave him a few quick tips and advised him to be more innovative to get more purchase from the pitch, so that he could pose more problems for batsmen.

Azharuddin knows a bit about Ojha, the most successful Indian bowler in their win in the first Test against England. Their association goes back many years when, Ojha as an enthusiastic youngster, used to bowl to the stylish batsman at the nets in Hyderabad.

So, it wasn't surprising that when they met, Azharuddin gave Ojha a warm and friendly hug and then some important advice.

" I saw you bowl in Motera. I noticed that you were bowling a bit away from the stumps. If you try to bowl from closer to the stumps, you would get a lot of purchase and spin. This way you can take the ball away from batsmen [ right- handers]," he said.

" You can do a lot of things if you bowl from closer to the stumps; it'll be to your advantage if you try and do that." Ojha, who captured nine wickets for 165 to help India register a nine- wicket win and take a 1- 0 lead in Motera, didn't say much but nodded in agreement.

" He used to bowl to me in Hyderabad many years ago. He was of course very small at the time," Azhar said.

Recalling the time when he used to bowl to Azharuddin, Ojha told M AIL T ODAY : " I was very young at the time and I used to go to Hyderabad Gymkhana where he used to practice." Ojha was born in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, but has played almost all his cricket in Hyderabad where he is based. He was also part of the IPL's Deccan Chargers.

qaiser. ali@mailtoday. in

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 24, 2012
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