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10 Facts about Naman Ojha: The best that never was

Ojha has rarely grabbed opportunities with both hands.

Naman Ojha
NEW DELHI, INDIA – APRIL 12: Delhi Daredevils wicketkeeper Naman Ojha at ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi on 12 April, 2012. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)

For those who have seen Naman Ojha play in domestic cricket, they would have perhaps scratched their heads. Having been in the shadows of the likes of MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha, Ojha has seldom got his chance at the international level. However, with the handful of chances, he did indeed receive, Ojha has rarely grabbed opportunities with both hands. However, known as perhaps the best there never was, here are 10 facts about Naman Ojha.

1. Birth:

Naman Vinaykumar Ojha was born on the 20th of July 1983 in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

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2. The League of Shadows:

The League of Shadows in Indian cricket refers to those players who have been tipped to play international cricket but have not played as much as they would have liked. Naman Ojha belongs to this group of players who have immense talent and not played much for India.

3. The glovework of a champion:

While Ojha’s glovework is something that stands out apart from his obvious batting ability. At the age of 26, Ojha was heavily tipped to become India’s next wicket-keeper. However, luck didn’t favor him as MS Dhoni, Parthiv Patel, and Wriddhiman Saha was selected in the first wave of players.

4. The Backup plan:

Naman Ojha has been a part of the India ‘A’ squad for the most part. He also famously came into the squad for India’s tour of Zimbabwe in 2016, when the selectors decided to rest several senior players, including MS Dhoni. He got only three games on tour but failed to make an impression.

5. Field of dreams:

Ojha’s 100th first-class match came against Australia ‘A’ at the Allan Border Filed in Brisbane in July 2014. He scored a double-century in the first innings and added 122 runs with Nos. 10 and 11, whose combined contributions to those two partnerships was 11 runs, before India A declared on 9 for 475. Naman’s unbeaten 219 came off 250 balls, with 29 fours and eight sixes. After reaching his 100, he scored 119 runs in 114 balls.

6. Claim to fame:

Naman Ojha’s claim to fame dates back to the early days of the Indian Premier League. He was a part of the Rajasthan Royals side that clinched the first ever IPL trophy. His outstanding batting performances saw him come under the selector’s radar.

7. The 2013-14 Ranji Trophy Watershed:

He made a mark in the 2013-14 domestic season for Madhya Pradesh, scoring 835 runs in seven Ranji Trophy games, his best returns in over a decade of domestic cricket.

8. IPL career:

Naman Ojha has played for three IPL teams in his cricketing career. Having played for the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Daredevils in the past, Ojha has found his feet with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, a place where he clinched the IPL title.

9. The leadership roles:

At the ripe age of 33, Naman Ojha became the quintessential leader of the India ‘A’ side.

10. Underperforming on the international stage:

In spite of making a decent Test debut against Sri Lanka, Ojha failed to make it big on the limited-overs’ stage as he played just the one ODI and two T20 internationals.

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