England in India 2012-13

Sreesanth motivated by 'darkest' days

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 5, 2013

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Sreesanth is congratulated by Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina for his wicket of Andrew Strauss, England v India, 4th Test, The Oval, 2nd day, August 19, 2011
Sreesanth is making the most of being back in action after a year sidelined © Getty Images

Sreesanth, the India fast bowler, is using recent experiences of the "darkest" days of his career as extra motivation to force his way back into the national team.

Sreesanth, who will face England for India A on Sunday, was out of action for more than year after undergoing two operations on his toes to insert platinum nails which left him in a wheelchair as he recuperated. A quick bowler known for his aggression on the field, which sometimes spilled over the top, Sreesanth admitted to it being an emotional time for him where he even considered it might be the end of his career.

"Who says men don't cry? I used to sob like a baby as I was forced to move around in a wheelchair for two months after twin surgeries on my toes," he told PTI. "To be honest, I started thinking that probably, I won't be able to play cricket again. It was such a scary thought. Those 14 months were the darkest phase of my life."

However, that drastic scenario did not emerge and he returned to cricket for Kerela, in the Ranji Trophy, during December. His three matches have brought nine wickets at 24, enough to earn him a place in the India A line-up to face England in their first warm-up match ahead of the one-day series.

India are not flush with fast-bowling options at the moment. Zaheer Khan, dropped for the final Test against England, is seemingly coming to the end of his career and two talented young bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, are currently injured. Ishant Sharma has become the senior quick, a role that he does not always convince in, although Bhuvneshwar Kumar has shown early promise.

It all means, at 29, that there is still time for Sreesanth to return to the international stage. He played the last of his 27 Tests against England, at The Oval, in 2011 and his previous ODI was the World Cup final in Mumbai.

"This is a fresh start for me," he said. "I want to extract every ounce of enjoyment possible from the matches that I would play from now on. Be it for Kerala, India A or India, I don't want to relax one bit. I have two platinum nails inserted in my big toes but I have a lot of fire in my belly."

"Earlier, I used to think that there are days where I can relax. But now I know that life is fickle. You have to give your hundred per cent as long as it lasts."

Don't, though, expect to see a mellowed fast bowler on the field. "Earlier, I had a 26-step run-up to the bowling crease but now I have reduced it to 23 steps. But I have not cut down on my pace. Even while playing for Kerala, I have consistently worked up a fair amount of pace. The only thing that I need right now is more consistency."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

The most talented among the current Indian bowlers except probably U. Yadav. Only if he can be more consistent. Would love to see him in white clothes. However, since he is injury prone and not very economical should not be considered for limited over cricket.

Posted by rosh280 on (January 6, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

I really feel like sreeshanth is back but he is really suited to test cricket rather than one day and twenty format. he should be used with ishant sharma he is also in form. In test side we should find one more fast bowler who can pick up wickets at regular intervals. he should be an alrounder like ashwin and b kumar. shami ahmed, p razool and praveen kumar could be a real option.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

thats very true bro.... politicians are to be fired off from BCCI.... selection committee should be changed entirely...

Posted by iamcd_pati on (January 6, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

he can destroy a batting side on his day...his lovely seam position was missed...nly thng he needs to focus n serve indian cricket n set all other thngs aside n come back to the team

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