‘Thanks for waking me up, Smith’

2011-01-03 00:00

FIRST day press conferences are usually mundane in nature — except when a certain S Sreesanth is in the hot seat.

It was all going along merrily, with the seamer reflecting on a fine day of Test cricket at Newlands, until someone asked him about his new burst of form.

“In Durban, Smith [Graeme] told me that I am not good enough to be playing for India, so I told him that I was and that I could get him out,” he said in passing.

Only he didn’t pass, as he then went off on a tangent, thanking Smith — of course — the Kingsmead crowd and the patrons at Newlands for stoking his competitive fire.

“I was happy just bowling good areas in Durban, but then Smith and the crowd woke me up. So I have to say thank you, and also to the Cape Town crowd.”

Half of it was tongue in cheek, of course, but Sreesanth illustrated that he is one of those players who needs a bit of antagonism to get the best out of him.

“Some call it aggression, but I like to think of it as passion,” he explained.

His bowling has added an extra dimension to an already impressive attack.

“I have found better rhythm since the second innings in Durban, and I am enjoying helping Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan.”

He certainly has hit his straps, and is being more than just a talkative distraction to the Proteas — he is letting the ball do much of the talking, too.

“These guys, Smith and Kallis, have played so many matches, so it is an honour to be playing against them. I am still in a learning process, and I am just trying to take it each day as it comes,” he continued.

That hasn’t stopped him from voicing his opinions to the likes of Smith and Kallis in the middle.

Asked if skipper MS Dhoni’s words before the Test match — where he had said Sreesanth needed to be under control — had fallen on deaf ears, Sreesanth was quick with his reply.

“He told me that the day before. He didn’t say anything to me today.”

After another encouraging display, Dhoni may just not bother to have another word.

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