November 28, 2001

Gibbs and Srinath: Stellar performers

Herschelle Gibbs
© CricInfo
Javagal Srinath
© CricInfo
Herschelle Gibbs and Javagal Srinath were the outstanding performers for the two sides in the recent India-South Africa series that concluded at Centurion Park on Tuesday. While Srinath defied his age and his critics to grab a haul of 13 wickets, Gibbs showed that he has recovered from the trauma of match-fixing ban and drugs scandals that have dogged his career over the last two years. Gibbs scored two centuries in the first two Tests and a 59 in a final game that at the moment has the status of an unofficial Test. Here the two chief performers of the series cast a look back.

Q: Looking back at the series, you must be happy with your performances...

Gibbs: I am not through yet. I am playing cricket with a lot more confidence. The balance is really good. I am choosing the right ball to hit.

Srinath: I have done well, but there is disappointment that we are still searching for that elusive win against South Africa away from home. This is perhaps my last trip to South Africa and, in that respect, I am disappointed.

Q: The Indian bowling, except for Srinath, was not all that great. Do you agree with that assessment?

Gibbs: I would say that the other bowlers are a bit inexperienced. They also struggled to find the right length and pace for these wickets. But they will get better with more experience. It is a learning curve. Someone like Srinath, who has done a world of good for India's image, could be a role model.

Srinath: I can't blame them. I also have failed to rise on occasions at times. I agree that a few of our new medium-pacers are raw, but they will get better in due course.

Q: How do you assess each other's performance?

Gibbs: Javi (Javagal) is very experienced. He has done really very well every time that he has toured South Africa. You can't ask for more than that.

Srinath: Gibbs has been a fantastic entertainer. He has had ups and downs in his career but has shown remarkable character to come out of the trough. It is not a joke to recover as he has done. I am sure he is only going to get better in coming times.

Q: What do you think the future holds for you?

Gibbs: My priority will be to do well in Australia. Most of their wickets are like ours, except perhaps for Melbourne. I also know that the Australian media always targets the key players of the opposition. You know they will chirp, you know how they play the game, so you have got to be prepared for it. There is no point in contemplating in what will happen next. You just accept it and get on with the job.

Srinath: I am taking it series by series at the moment. I have reached that stage of my career when I have to plan my cricket. I have cut down on my pace; I don't think I am as fast as I used to be. I understand that I am ageing and must bowl accordingly. I have enjoyed every moment of my career. There have been disappointments along the way for sure, but overall I owe a great deal to the game.

Q: Do you think you are right there at the top of your game at the moment?

Gibbs: I think I have improved since I first started opening the innings. My shot selection has improved, and I have become a tighter batsman than before. Gary (Kirsten) has also been a great help, and we share a wonderful understanding.

Srinath: I know it I am not a Glenn McGrath or a Wasim Akram or a Waqar Younis. So I have to keep going within my limitations. I am out for the first Test against England at Mohali, but I am pretty sure that I will be available for selection for the final two Tests of the series.

Comments