Sree set to don a different role now

Lucky break

S Sreesanth

Even when he emotionally reacted to his omission from the Indian squad for the 2011 World Cup, Sreesanth believed that happy days were ahead. His firm belief was rewarded on Tuesday when he was drafted into the 15-member Indian squad in place of the injured Praveen Kumar.

“I was really excited and I thanked God. I am happy that finally I became part of the Indian World Cup squad. I have written a song to cheer Team India, but now I am a part of the squad. However, it’s really sad that Praveen is injured. Hopefully, he will recover fast and play for India soon,” Sreesanth said.

Praveen had suffered an elbow injury during India’s recent tour to South Africa. The Uttar Pradesh all-rounder failed to recuperate sufficiently despite visiting English surgeon Dr Andrew Wallace, forcing the team management to find a replacement from the pool of 30 probables and it was Sreesanth who got the call.

The pace bowler, who will now appear in his first 50-over World Cup, said the feeling was yet to sink in. “It’s really a nice feeling to play in the World Cup. I thought I will never play in a 50-over World Cup. But guess God wants me to be a part of it. I am ready for any challenges ahead and I am prepared to fit into any kind of role that team will give me. Hopefully, we can begin well against Bangladesh,” he said.

Dwelling on India’s chances in the quadrennial mega show, Sreesanth said India have a well-balanced team that can go all the way in familair conditions. “It will certainly be an advantage for us that the World Cup is being staged in the sub-continent. We know the conditions here, so it will be easier for us to make strategy and adapt to the conditions. As Dhoni bhai said some days back, we are looking at playing at home not as extra burden but as extra responsibility,” he said.

On India’s bowling attack, Sreesanth said, “It’s an experienced and proven bowling attack. We have so much experience in Zaheer, Nehra and Bhajji, who have been around for a long time. Even Munaf Patel has played a lot of cricket. Zaheer bhai is a wonderful bowler and he leads our attack. He has always guided me and bowling with him is a great privilege. It’s a world class attack.” 

Despite his claims of being a sobered-down individual, the chirpy child in him came out during the South African tour when he sledged Graeme Smith. Sreesanth explained, “I am in full control of myself and things that I am doing. My anger was a story made up by Smith. All I asked him was ‘is this the way you play cricket?’ and he started abusing me. I think he should learn English.”

So, welcome back Sreesanth!

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