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Fastbowler reveals the story behind the famous jig

'I can smell blood' - Nel to Sreesanth

Cricinfo staff

January 9, 2007

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Sreesanth on the famous celebratory jig: '"It just happened. I myself wondered when I saw it [later on TV]'' © Getty Images
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Indian fast bowler Sreesanth revealed the story behind the famous impromptu dance after he had hit Andre Nel for a six during the first Test in Johannesburg. "It just happened. I myself wondered when I saw it (later on TV). My brother and friends had e-mailed me about it." Recalling the incident, Sreesanth said: "As soon as I walked in to bat, Nel said 'I can smell blood. You do not have the guts.' Showing his emblem on the shirt, Nel said 'I am playing for this. You are a scared fellow, rabbit. I will get you next ball'.

"Before delivering the next ball, Nel had also asked Mark Boucher to stay back and had also moved the short leg fielder. I being a fast bowler myself, knew Nel was going to bowl a bouncer. I just took my chance and prayed to God. I stepped out to connect the ball which flew over the ropes."

Sreesanth said he was very lucky to get some valuable tips from great fast bowlers like Wasim Akram and Allan Donald during the South African tour. Sreesanth said he had a session with Akram, who had advised him on how to use the reverse swing. "Akram has told me some small points. It was really helpful. It was nice of him." Sharing an interesting coincidence, Sreesanth said: "This year on January 1, I had a session with Akram while last year the same day I had a session with another Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis in Kochi."

Sreesanth said he wants to use his performance in South Africa as a stepping stone for achieving greater success in the forthcoming series. "I cannot sit back on laurels. I cannot sit back and relax. I have to work with the same intensity and even more. I am still learning," Sreesanth said. While expressing satisfaction over his performance in South Africa, during which he scripted India's first ever Test win in the country by claiming eight wickets in Johannesburg, Sreesanth revealed that he had set a bigger target for himself. "My dream was to capture 25 wickets in the series. I thank God that I could get 18 wickets and equal Anil Kumble and Srinath's record [in South Africa]. They are the legends in Indian cricket and to hold the record along with them is a great feeling."

Looking back at the tour where India lost both the one-day and the Test series, he said, "It is not always easy to perform well outside the country and especially in South African conditions. We tried our best. It was a team effort. May be in some points we were not good enough." He also said the presence of Sourav Ganguly in the team helped the players. "He performed exceptionally well especially in tough situations. He is a mature player and performed well. He played a big role."

On reports of players damaging the dressing room during celebrations after the Wanderers Test win, Sreesanth said: "I do not know. That day we had a good party. I do not want to comment on that."

© PTI

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