New Delhi: India's left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who was playing a Test match after a year, said that English county cricket and the Irani Trophy helped him work on his variation that earned him three wickets against the West Indies during the first day's play of the first Test.

Leading the Indian spin attack for the first time, Ojha said there was not much help for the tweakers from the Feroz Shah Kotla track prompting him to bowl a steady line and length.

"I am playing a Test match exactly after one year. I was really looking forward for this opportunity. I did my homework well. Experiences in county cricket and Irani Trophy helped me to work on my variation. It helped me here today," said Ojha.

Ojha took two early wickets to reduce West Indies to 45 for two. Seasoned Shivnaraine Chanderpaul (111 not out) and teenager Kraigg Brathwaite (63) then stitched 108 runs before Ojha broke the partnership with the wicket of Brathwaite.

"The wicket was pretty slow so I decided to stick to a line. I wanted to play with the patience of the batsmen."

Ojha, who was introduced as early as in the 10th over, said bowling with the new ball was not a problem for him.

"I was not thinking about the new ball. The key was to keep the ball in the right areas," the 25-year-old said.

Ojha also lauded Chanderpaul's effort

"He (Chanderpaul) is one of the legends of the game. He is a great batsman. The wicket wasn't doing much so Chanderpaul used his experience to place his innings," he said.

"More than his (Chanderpaul) stance, he brings in a lot of experience. We had a couple of half chances while he was sweeping the ball. I enjoyed bowling to the legend. Hopefully I'll get him out," he said.

Ojha said he enjoyed the dismissal of 18-year-old Brathwaite, who was the second highest scorer of the day.

"The stumping was amazing. I deceived him with flight and I really enjoyed the dismissal," he said.

On the crucial 108-run stand between Chanderpaul and Brathwaite, Ojha said: "They were trying to bat with discipline. They were playing straight and not too many fancy shots."

Ojha also thanked Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Rahul Dravid for his successful return to Test cricket.

"Last one year I was out of the Test squad. I took it positively and spoke to senior players like Anil Bhai, Bhajji Pa and Rahul Bhai. They all asked me to play county cricket and get the experience," he said.

He added that Gautam Gambhir, who was hit on his elbow while fielding at forward short-leg was fine.

(Agencies)