England in India 2012-13 January 5, 2013

Sreesanth motivated by 'darkest' days

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 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.

  • roshan 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.

  • Dummy4 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...

  • sidharth 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

  • Sony on January 6, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    dude! the lesser you talk the better for you. let the ball do talking for you.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Wish Sreesanth return to team and perform consistently. . If he bowl like he did in South Africa where he made Kallis dance to his tunes, that will be beneficial to India

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Indian team is suffering from lack of professionalism not only of players but also of BCCI. Politicians are in BCCI who has not even played cricket. They are not interested in real talent searching. Let me state an example. Sreesanth was not the best bowler of Kerala by a large margin. Those who have followed ranji trophy like me knows the name Sandeep Warrier. I looked up scorecards and saw this guy getting lots of wickets and felt he had something unique about him. This is a comment by Mr. Ashwin G, Interestingly, Kerala pacer Sandeep Warrier is coming in for a lot of praise from coaches,opponents and ex cricketers."He is a real talent," said Dodda Ganesh. "It was one of the best performances of pace bowling I have seen in domestic cricket in recent times.I haven't seen a pace bowler like Sandeep in the Ranji Trophy for a long time." said Jharkhand coach Tarak Sinha. He is right now the quickest in India and why he was not picked. Deserved players do not get picked at all!

  • Baiju on January 6, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    @KiwiRocker you have lot more to worry about your team than Sreesanth mate..and to all who are bashing about he has no talent, I am sure that NONE of you might have seen him blasting South Africa out for 83 (yes 83) in Durban in 2006 and more recently the delivery he bowled to Kallis in Dec 2010 to dismiss him. One thing I agree, he lacks consistency, also he is unlucky that he had to play under a captain who does not know to use him perfectly and who has something against Sreesanth in his mindset. If only he had an understanding captain and BCCI had a professional team to look after our fast bowlers, we wouldn't have lost so many pacers in the last 4-5 years. 29 years is not a bad age for a fast bowler to blossom, in fact it is the perfect age in my opinion, if handled well he can a great asset for India especially in tests for the next 4-5 years.

  • Bobby on January 6, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    There is an obvious difference between Pakistani and Indian fast bowlers and cricket pundits and so called commentators do not always mention that. The significant difference is of diet and genetics. Misbah Ul Haq recently hinted that too. Indian players will never be as quick or as strong as Pakistani fast bowlers. Same goes for West Indian and Australians. These teams are blessed with natural abilities. India and B'desh are type of countries that will never produce a genuine fast bowler. As far as Sreesanth is concerned, he is just another Indian medium pacer who had plenty of chances and failed to perform. I am actually susprirsed that he is even in Indian A team as he is just not good enough. His attitude on field is also rather inappropriate. A lot of talk with little or no action. India would have been better off trying Parveen Kumar as he is still their most decent bowler..Same goes for Bala Ji..They may not be young but are better than SreeSanth, Yadev and V.arun( who?)

  • PRAMOND on January 6, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    People in India leaves on reputations. A player scores century and then he has almost guarantee to play next 10 games. But it is also true that he behave ugly or rational at first time he always going to be remember like that. No matter how well Sreesanth behave people will look him as crazy of ugly personality.