Sreesanth’s success is ‘thanks to Smith’s comments’

Criticism from South Africa captain Graeme Smith has inspired

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth to perform better in the series between cricket’s top

two Test teams, the fiery India fast bowler said yesterday.


Sreesanth said he wanted to thank Smith for revving him up in the

second Test in Durban by telling him he wasn’t good enough.

The pair were involved in an angry on-field exchange of words in

the second Test shortly before Sreesanth dismissed Smith for one of his six

wickets so far in the series, which is level at 1-1 with a deciding third Test

under way in Cape Town.


“Thanks to Smith. I think he woke me up in the series,” Sreesanth

said after leading India’s bowlers with 2-70 on day one of the decider at

Newlands. “I was very quiet and thanks to him that he could speak to me.


“He told me ‘you’re not good enough’ and I told him ‘I think I am

good enough to get you out’. So, thanks to him.”


Sreesanth produced another aggressive spell yesterday to remove

Proteas danger men Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers.

Amla fell to a quick short

ball and De Villiers was beaten by an away-swinger.


The 27-year-old Sreesanth also produced the ball of the series in

South Africa’s second innings in Durban, dismissing Jacques Kallis with a

near-unplayable bouncer to send India toward its series-levelling win.


However, he was criticised after his earlier confrontation with

Smith for allegedly making personal remarks about the South Africa skipper’s

family.


Smith said Sreesanth had “crossed the line”, and India captain

Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted it was difficult to control the fast bowler.


“I’m working on now rather than the past or the future,” Sreesanth

responded yesterday. “I’m happy with where I am.

I’m following what the

management asked me to do and I am very happy. The day went really well. Thank

God nobody complained.


“Some people say aggression but I say passion. You play with

passion. I love this game and I want to give my very best every day.”?


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