Comeback pacer Sreesanth doubted his return to Indian team

November 26th, 2009 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh Kanpur, Nov 26 (IANS) Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who made a memorable comeback to international cricket against Sri Lanka in the second Test here, said there was a time when he felt he could never play for India again.
For someone who spent the last year and a half in the wilderness, nursing injuries and getting into news for all wrong reasons, Sresanth was a completely transformed man with the ball Thursday as he demolished the Sri Lankans with a five-wicket haul in the first innings and the visitors were bowled out for 229.

He bagged six wickets in the day, dismissing the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second innings to add to his five for 75 in the first.

“I could return to cricket, thanks to my family and the people around me. There was a time when people doubted whether I will play for India again. Even I doubted whether I could play for the country,” Sreesanth said.

Sreesanth, who played his last Test here on the same track 18 months ago against South Africa, was disciplined in everything he did. The theatrics were missing and his focus was on his bowling, mostly cutting the ball in and out from perfect length to leave the batsman guessing.

“I played my last Test here. So it’s nice to start here again.”

“For the last seven months, I have been training hard. I was given a schedule and I followed it at the MRF pace academy. I never gave up. Once you overcome a tough phase in life, you know that you can do it again and again. Thank god, that I got this opportunity.”

“I was desperate to get the new ball in hand. It’s always a proud moment to play for the country.”

“I stuck to the basics and concentrated on hitting the right line and length consistently. It’s a hard surface and the idea was to get the length right first.”

“It’s difficult to bowl on this kind of wicket and maintaining the ball is important to get some swing. The entire team was behind me and there was some good catching.”

Sreesanth said his stint with Warwickshire, where he trained with South African great Allan Donald, was of great help.

Sreesanth has beeen warned for indiscipline several times and was also involved in an ugly brawl with Harbhajan Singh during the Indian Premier League.

“I have said earlier that I must be one of the most misunderstood cricketers.”

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