New Delhi: For a cricketer of enviable talent and one who has been part of some of India’s greatest achievements in recent years, Sreesanth is largely known as a troublemaker and a maverick.
When his name is mentioned, most fans do not think about the several devastating spells he has bowled in South Africa, West Indies and England.
They instead remember his antics after taking a wicket or hitting a six, the slap gate also involving Harbhajan Singh, and of late, the spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League.
One look at Sreesanth’s career and it would be abundantly clear that it is a major waste of a talent. No less a bowler that Allan Donald has drooled over the upright seam he presented.
Alas, the seamier side of cricket has claimed another victim, who was earlier considered just an idiosyncratic and misunderstood character. But it is evident now that the Kerala lad was incapable of handling the fame and stardom that came with success on the cricketing field.
Sreesanth never had an extended run in the Indian team due to injuries or loss of form. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not hide the fact that even his plentiful man management skills were stretched while dealing with the enigmatic pacer.
That did not prevent him from being part of the victorious sides in the 2011 World Cup and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. He was also involved when India became the number one Test side in the world in 2009, and won the tri-series Down Under in 2008.
But when he was on song, Sreesanth was well nigh unplayable. Who can forget the sight of the legendary Jacques Kallis fending a delivery that almost took his head off, only to be caught in the cordon, during the 2010-11 Durban Test.
The Rainbow Nation was a happy hunting ground for the pacer, who was instrumental in India winning its first Test in that country when he took eight wickets in Johannesburg in 2006-07. The hosts were bundled out for 84 in the first innings.
India’s successful England tour in 2007 also put the spotlight on Sreesanth, who apart from incisive spells, also garnered headlines for shoulder-barging home captain Michael Vaughan and bowling a beamer at Kevin Pietersen.
He sought to portray himself as a simple and innocent person, who sometimes let his emotions get the better of him, blaming others for his plight. However, with his guilt in the spot-fixing coming to the fore, one doubts he will get sympathy from any quarter.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
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