The talk with Donald helped - Sreesanth
After a potentially match-winning spell of 5 for 40 on Saturday, Sreesanth spoke to the media about how a chat with Allan Donald in the morning had helped him
'It was particularly nice to take [Jacques] Kallis' wicket because I've watched him so much on the [TV] screen, and grew up admiring him' - Sreesanth
Away from the field where his behaviour can be decidedly eccentric,
Sreesanth exudes a certain calm. After a potentially match-winning spell
of 5 for 40 on Saturday, he spoke to the media about how a chat with Allan
Donald in the morning had helped him to produce the sort of spell that
most young quick bowlers fantasise about.
"This is like a dream come true," he said, "but I have many more dreams to
attain. We are well set, we have a very good lead and should be able to
win from here." He did qualify that by saying that the match wasn't over
yet, but the confidence which has percolated through the ranks was
According to him, the chat with Donald had definitely played a part. "I
really admire him," said Sreesanth. "Even though Dennis Lillee is my idol,
I want to be like Donald. The talk definitely helped me understand what
needs to be done here."
The prospect of talking to one of the game's all-time greats would once
have been an intimidating one, but after a promising start to his
international career, Sreesanth is no longer a wallflower. "In the
beginning, I used to be very shy," he admitted. "Now, I have no fears
about walking up to former greats and taking their advice."
He also admitted that the pitch had played its part in his success. "It's
a very good wicket to bowl on," he said. "It was particularly nice to take
[Jacques] Kallis' wicket because I've watched him so much on the [TV] screen, and
grew up admiring him."
He started wonderfully well, with the wickets of Graeme Smith and Hashim
Amla, but some loose deliveries before and after lunch set the alarm bells
ringing. "I wasn't really bowling well after my first three wickets," he
said. "I was spraying down the leg-side, mainly because I was trying too
"In the lunch break, the coach and captain spoke to me and simply asked me
to calm down. They wanted me to be patient and just stick to the right
line and length. That helped me tremendously and I could come and finish
The mood in the dressing room, visibly alleviated by the last-wicket
partnership between VRV Singh and Sourav Ganguly, also played its part.
"We have remained positive throughout," said Sreesanth. "We had faith in
ourselves and in our hard work. We also decided not to think of the past;
we just focused on the future."
Right now, that future appears to be as bright as the Kerala sun at the
height of summer.
Dileep Premachandran is features editor of Cricinfo