England in India 2012-13

Sreesanth motivated by 'darkest' days

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 5, 2013

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

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
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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

Posted by sony_sr on (January 6, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

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

Posted by   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

Posted by   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!

Posted by Crusader1980 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.

Posted by KiwiRocker- 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?)

Posted by PRAMOD_2012 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.

Posted by Mr_Force on (January 6, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

Glad I am Pak fan, the way you guys are talking about....BCCI wasted talent, and to Singh, Praveen, etc. you guys have completely different approach about fast bowlers. ppl always ask " why Pak can produce REAL fast bowlers, but not India?". it's because you guys have completely different approach. make your standards high guys !!!!!

Posted by dilscoop_uk on (January 6, 2013, 0:13 GMT)

He should seriously start considering a choreographer job instead of bowling because he is very good dancer. As for cricket he is a clown for what he does on the field.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Lets not say fast bowlers when we mention Indian bowlers. They are and have been medium pacers at best. Fast bowlers like Junaid Khan and M. Irfan make batsmen dance.

Posted by ccrriicc on (January 5, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

Sreesanth was poorly managed all through - by the BCCI and by his captain - he still is a threatening presence on the field - he always gives his 100% - thoughtless comments like, "he shouldn't have played international cricket" reeals the ignorance of the Indian fans. Please go through the advertisements for cricket and watch Sreesanth to Kallis in South Africa! You deserve what you got - Kholi as the fast bowling option and Ghambhir as their prime opener along with million medium pacers and second rate spinners!!!

Posted by jamfai on (January 5, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

Sreesanth is a mediocre bowler. I'm surprised to see the thoroughly supportive comments. On a pure stats front too, he has only managed to collect wickets at 35+ in firstclass. You need to be under 30 average in my view in first class to require a selection. Strike rates aren't good either. India has managed to produce a battery of fast bowlers that bowl slow medium. They are better playing to their strengths which is playing spinners and packing batsmen on their side.

Posted by vakkaraju on (January 5, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

Sreesanth's personality is no worse than Warne, Hayden and Co. The main difference is they were managed a whole lot better by their coaches and captains to channel their aggression. He needs support and encouragement to reach his true potential.

Posted by amarnath79 on (January 5, 2013, 18:35 GMT)

Both Sreesanth and his buddy Harbhajan need to be in the Indian team to bring some agression back.

Posted by ar.d. on (January 5, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

'Who says men don't cry?' Don't know about them all, but for Sreesanth, we all know he does. If not, ask Bhajji. :)

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

only bowler in india can bowl outswing at real pace

Posted by balajeev on (January 5, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

I don't know about "darkest days", Sreesanth does tend to go overboard and get emotional. Fact is however that India needs him to bowl well consistently and cut down on the histrionics if indeed he gets selected to the national team.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

if BCCI starts looking after their bowlers then there won't be a talent wasted. Pathan,rp singh, praveen kumar, sreesanth all had potential to dominate but bcci never looked after them

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 5, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

I think the author is wrong here. Never in the history of Indian Cricket did we have as many fast bowling options as we have now. Give them chances instead of saying we don't have any. It doesn't hurt not to be blind. Does it?

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

I don't know what allows the fuss is about with sreesanth. He is a mediocre domestic bowler with a poor showing in international cricket. He shouldn't have played international cricket, ever.

Posted by here2rock on (January 5, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

He is not the future of Indian bowling line up. He should be forgotten about and someone else given the chance. He just wears too many good luck charms without doing the hard yards and believing in his own ability.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

best 5 test bowlers in india if fit:z.khan,u.yadav,v.aaron,i.sharma and s.sreesanth.

Posted by blink182alex on (January 5, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

As an Aussie fan, i seriously hope Sreesanth plays in the upcoming test series, he wouldn't get into any of our state sides. He speaks a good game but apart from a few decent games in 2006 he doesn't back it up with the ball.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

Sreesanth is a talent almost lost on Indian cricket. And that is primarily because the captain he has played under is not able to manage his personality properly. Had he played under a more assertive captain like Ganguly, his talent could have been harnessed far better. Still, lets hope we are able to get the best of him. Its sad to see a talent like him not achieve his full potential.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (January 5, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

The author is wrong in saying that - India are not flush with fast-bowling options at the moment. We never had more exciting fast bowlers. Bowlers like Shami Ahmed, Ishwar Pandey, Imtiaz Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Rishi Dhawan, Ashish Reddy, Sandeep Warrier are good enough to walk straight into the Indian A/ODI team. BCCI needs to learn from Australia - they have an inventory of a dozen experienced fast bowlers available to them. How did they build such an amazing pace battery? By following a rotation policy. BCCI, on the other hand, played Zaheer and Yadav over and over again, until they broke down.

Posted by BoonBoom on (January 5, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

I find it very hard to understand and imagine how players like sreesanth get a place in the national side. In 27 tests he has 87 wickets at 37.50 bowling average. In ODI, his bowling average is 33.50 and over first class bowling average is 35.44 which clearly reflects his trye class and caliber. Truly a club class pathetic bowler!! If India drops Zaheer and Irfan and bring in bowlers like Sreesanth then obviously this is like going backwards rather than making any progress.

Posted by here2rock on (January 5, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

He can not bowl, full stop.

Posted by Kitschiguy on (January 5, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

I love this Sreesanth guy. Probably the most petulant and emotionally unstable player in the game. What fun. The boy has talent though, when he's bowling well he's hugely entertaining.

Posted by vatsap on (January 5, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

C'mon Sreesanth. Use this opportunity. U might not have the support of some of the seniors in the team, but u have talent and a good 2-3 years left. Your fans prayers will be with you. Ditch onedayers and get us some test glory.

Posted by crick_wizard on (January 5, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Sreeshanth is a talented bowler..He does what no other Indian pacer can do - swing and seam the ball AT PACE..hope he can improve his consistency, and help India fight off this bowling crisis..

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (January 5, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

lot of guys commenting negativly on sreeshant , but if this guy can keep it calm he has the talent to run through sides in test cricket , there is a reason why so many of cricket experts called him one of the finest bowling talent in the world , and he is certainly what India needs at this moment , i truly believe he can be as good as james anderson if he works on his consistency

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

agree with roversgate, sreesanth is test material...odi ofcourse he can take wickets esp on green tops, but the runs given has always been a problem. Wish many know how hard it is to take wickets on our pitches! ...i mean for a fast bowler!.

Posted by roversgate on (January 5, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

If he impresses and proves to be more consistent after this "dark" phase, he might be a good addition to a struggling test side. I just hope regardless of how he does, the selectors dont pick him for limited over games anymore.

Posted by theswami on (January 5, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Funny .... there are options if the selectors want to experiment .... Pankaj Singh, YoMahesh, Deepak Chhahar, Sangwan (was'nt given a fair go) ... it takes courage to dig out talent. There is .. but the selectors gotta bite the bait and not try a formula to hang on their chairs .....

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

I have always considered him with the likes of Steyn (yes his outswingers are as good as the latter's). On his day, he can even better Steyn, problem is his lack of extra pace. Let us see how he manages his second come back. If he can stay calm and collected and hit his lengths, he can be the next bowler India is looking for.

Posted by kassimpradeesh on (January 5, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Good Luck Sreesanth. Try to bowl as much as fast with consistency, so that you can be included in the ODI team against Eng.

Posted by Dandy_s on (January 5, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Hope he can inspire some young fast bowlers from Kerala Shahid, Sandeep warrier and Manukrishnan they are all good bowlers and kerala in past has produced some talented bowlers who coudnt live up to there promise

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (January 5, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

Next, they will be calling Prasad back from retirement. What a shambles!

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