Sreesanth, Bhajji make a case for inclusion

Mumbai, Feb. 8 -- The efforts of experienced campaigners, S Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh, on Friday provided a glimpse of the possible light at the end of the tunnel for Indian bowling.

With injuries to strike bowlers, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav, India's bowling resources wear an inexperienced look. Besides, R Ashwin failed to make an impact against England last year.

Sreesanth's performance on Friday was in stark contrast to the one on Thursday in the Irani Cup.

He was wayward and appeared to lack steam on Thursday, but on Friday, the Kerala pacer, returning from a toe injury he suffered in May, put forth a stiff challenge to centurion, Sachin Tendulkar.

"I really missed the game when I was injured. The difference now is that I know what I am doing," said Sreesanth. "I'd love to do well against the Aussies if selected but it's up to the selectors."

In the morning session, Sreesanth's famed outswing made an appearance. In the next session, the right-arm pacer was sharp with his bouncers, most of which were targeted at Tendulkar's head.

He even hit Tendulkar on the shoulder, when the master batsman was in his nineties. That he managed to hit 135kmph on a few occasions in the last session was a pointer to him inching back towards his original speed.

"After a chat with Bhajji and Ojha during lunch I did better. Even Vikram Rathour told me that I am more effective when aggressive, so I started bowling bouncers and got my rhythm back," said Sreesanth.

Sreesanth, who scalped Wasim Jaffer on Thursday, also tried bowling from a wide run-up. Harbhajan, who picked three, kept inviting the batsmen with his flight. More importantly, he stuck to a line and length, not straying on any particular side.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


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