Naman Ojha

Naman Ojha

Player Bio

Naman Ojha is a former Indian cricketer who made his mark as a top-order batsman and wicket keeper in domestic cricket. Born on 20 July 1983, in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, Ojha started playing cricket at a young age and rose through the ranks to make his first-class debut for Madhya Pradesh in the 2000-2001 season. Over the years, he emerged as one of the most promising talents in Indian cricket, with his flamboyance and ability to score runs freely impressing fans and experts alike.

Naman Ojha – Early Life and Background

Naman Ojha was born into a middle-class family in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Cricket was part of his upbringing as both his father and brother were avid followers of the game. He started playing gully cricket with friends at a young age before joining a local club where he honed his skills as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

Rise to Prominence

Ojha's rise to prominence began during the 2013-14 domestic season when he scored 835 runs in just seven Ranji Trophy games for Madhya Pradesh, including three centuries. His outstanding performances earned him a spot in the India A squad that toured Australia later that year where he scored three consecutive centuries including a double-century against Australia A.

He continued his fine run of form in the Duleep Trophy where he scored another double-century. Ojha's consistent performances led to a call-up to the Indian Test squad as a replacement for Wriddhiman Saha during India's tour of England in 2014.

Naman Ojha – Cricketing Career

Ojha made his Test debut against Sri Lanka on 28 August 2015, becoming only the second wicket keeper from Madhya Pradesh to play for India after Naren Tamhane. Although he didn't have a great start, Ojha showed improvement with every game and finished his debut match with 56 runs, four catches, and one stumping.

In addition to Tests, Ojha also played One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for India but only sporadically. He played his first and only ODI during a tri-series against Zimbabwe in 2005, where he opened the innings but was dismissed for just one run. His T20I appearances were equally brief and inconsistent.

Ojha had more success in domestic cricket where he represented various teams in different tournaments including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). He was particularly impressive during the 2014 IPL season when he was signed by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 83 lakhs at the auction. 

During his time with Rajasthan Royals, Ojha opened the batting and hit two half-centuries while smashing 11 sixes in the tournament. In total, he scored over 4000 runs in first-class cricket at an average of around 40.

Naman Ojha – Major Tournaments and Series

Naman Ojha is one of the most successful domestic cricketers in India with a batting average of 41.75 in first-class cricket. He has proven his mettle in many domestic tournaments and international matches. However, he had limited opportunities to showcase his talent on the global stage.

Ojha was part of the Indian team for the 2005 tri-series in Zimbabwe, where he played his only ODI. Unfortunately, he got out for just one run and could not make any significant contribution to the team's success.

Despite being an excellent wicket-keeper batsman, Naman failed to secure a place in India's squad for ICC World Cup or Champions Trophy. He did get an opportunity to represent India at the 2016 World T20, but he was only included as a backup wicket-keeper.

Ojha had better luck in IPL where he represented Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Delhi Capitals. In IPL 2009 held in South Africa, he opened the batting for Rajasthan Royals and scored two half-centuries while hitting 11 sixes throughout the tournament.

Naman Ojha – Playing Role and Skills

Naman Ojha is a versatile cricketer who can bat anywhere in the top order and also keep wickets efficiently. He has proven his worth through some match-winning performances in domestic cricket.

As a batsman, Ojha is renowned for his attacking style of play. He plays with flair and takes on the bowlers aggressively. His ability to switch between defensive and attacking modes at will makes him an asset to any team he plays for. However, at times, this flamboyance could lead to rash shots and cost his wicket.

Ojha's wicket-keeping skills are top-notch, and he is known for taking some exceptional catches behind the stumps. As a keeper-batsman, he adds depth to the batting lineup while ensuring no compromises on fielding standards.

Naman Ojha – Personality and Off-the-Field Persona

Naman has been associated with several brands such as Puma Cricket, SM Gold Tea, etc., which reflect his growing popularity among fans.

Naman enjoys playing outdoor sports like volleyball and basketball during his free time besides listening to music and spending time with family and friends.

Naman Ojha – Legacy and Impact 

Naman Ojha has been an influential player for the Indian cricket team. Though he never became the first-choice wicket-keeper, his flamboyant style of play and ability to score freely challenged the established players in the team. Ojha's triple century against Australia A in 2014, where he scored 219 and 101, will always remain a memorable performance. 

Ojha's impact on the game is evident from his records in domestic cricket. He scored 835 runs in seven Ranji Trophy games during the 2013-14 season, which included three centuries and two half-centuries. His performances caught selectors' attention, resulting in his selection for India's Test squad as a replacement for Wriddhiman Saha in England. 

Recognition and Awards

Naman Ojha did not receive many individual awards during his career, but he was an integral part of several teams' success, including Sunrisers Hyderabad's victory in the IPL in 2016.

Naman Ojha may not have been able to cement his place as India's first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman but was undoubtedly one of India's most talented cricketers who deserved more opportunities at the international level.

Despite facing stiff competition from established players like MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha, Ojha continued to work hard on his game and earned accolades in domestic cricket. He will always be remembered for his attacking batting style and spectacular wicket-keeping skills.

Which domestic teams has Naman Vinayakumar Ojha represented?
Naman Vinayakumar Ojha has represented the following domestic teams: Madhya Pradesh (2001-2021), Rajasthan Royals (2009-2010), Delhi Daredevils (2011-2013 and 2018), Sunrisers Hyderabad (2014-2017), and India Legends (2021).
How many Test matches, ODIs, T20Is, and First-Class matches has Naman Vinayakumar Ojha played?
Naman Vinayakumar Ojha has played 1 Test match, 1 ODI, 2 T20Is, and 146 First-Class matches.
When did Naman Vinayakumar Ojha make his Test debut and against which team?
Naman Vinayakumar Ojha made his  Test debut on August 28, 2015, against Sri Lanka.
How many catches and stumpings did Naman Vinayakumar Ojha take in different formats?
Naman Vinayakumar Ojha took 4 catches and 1 stumping in Test matches, 0 catches and 1 stumping in ODIs, and 0 catches and stumpings in T20Is. In First-Class matches, he took 417 catches and 54 stumpings.