Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sreesanth is Indian cricket's energy, says Kapil Dev

By John Cheeran
Kapil Dev says he is comfortable with Sreesanth's cricket dance in the Wanderers Test.
Kapil, who knows a thing or two about energy, once being the brand ambassador for BOOST.
"The youths are full of energy. I may not like Ganguly for taking off his shirt and swirling it or the way Sreesanth came out to whirl his bat. But at the end of the day, it probably gives them the passion and if that is a pre-requisite for Team India's win, I have no problems with that."
"For me, aggression lies in your performance. (John) McEnroe was aggressive in the court, showing full range of his emotions. But (Bjorn) Borg was a champion too, despite being a quiet person on court. I guess we are in an entertainment industry where people like to see the anger."
The oracle of our cricketing times, Navjot Singh Sidhu feels there are double standards.
"I don't know why pacers like (Glenn) McGrath or Andre Nel get away with abuses, why the match officials always haul up an Indian pacer for the same act. I mean if McGrath can do it, why not Sreesanth?" Sidhu asks.
"It was a great sight. Sreesanth was fighting fire with fire, and this is the reason why you admire people like Ganguly. He matched Steve Waugh's verbal ding-dong and the result was before us to see."

A backgrounder to Sreesanth's career

The exclusion of S. Sreesanth from the 14-member Indian team for the Champions Trophy was not well received by three former Test bowlers Kapil Dev, Madan Lal and Balwinder Singh Sandhu.
The shocking omission of Sreesanth was the only change the National selectors made from the team that went to Sri Lanka for the Unitech tri-series last month.
The selection committee cited his higher economy rate in comparison to Rudra Pratap Singh, ignoring the Kerala speedster's excellent strike rate and the ability to make crucial breakthroughs. Kapil had words of encouragement for Sreesanth.
"If they can exclude Anil Kumble and (V.V.S.) Laxman, they can drop anyone. I would advise Sreesanth to concentrate on his bowling. He is an excellent bowler and still very young.
There is no reason for him to lose heart because such things have happened in the past. The experience should help him become a better bowler, " said Kapil,who did not believe in economy rate being the lone factor in deciding the ability of a bowler. Difficult job Giving the selectors the due for handling a difficult job quite well, Kapil observed,
"There are so many competent young bowlers and sadly some would have to sit out. But I know Sreesanth has the passion to bowl and he can take inspiration from someone like Mohinder Amarnath who kept coming back because very exclusion made him work all the more harder. "
R.P. Singh's performance in his last four matches hardly pushes his case - 169 runs without a wicket at a rate of 6.5.
"You can't always be driven by statistics. I would back a bowler who takes wickets, earns crucial breakthroughs, than someone who just bowls economically. A team needs bowlers who can take wickets too. I like Sreesanth for many reasons. He is aggressive, has a good run-up and action, and the most importantthing is that he has a good out-swinger. As far as I am concerned, he has the right attitude for a fast bowler and is the most ideal to lead the Indian attack," said Madan Lal.
Sandhu said "They know what they have been doing and what they need to do. Sreesanth has been given a specific role and he has performed creditably. Now the selectors want to test R.P. Singh too. There is nothing wrong in it. The selectors probably want to see which bowler can bowl better under pressure. They are still trying to identify the right combination for the World Cup and Sreesanth need not feel disappointed. Even Zaheer Khan is bowling so well but it is not enough to gain him a place."

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