talent, is what Sreesanth did.
I will make no bones of it, I loved him yes he had his antics, but that was also accompanied by a fire that a fast bowler had to have. Fast bowling is not a mean job and to get yourself gee’ed up and motivated at times you do need that bit of rage to push you when you are down. I always thought the fast bowler had to be a bit of brute, Thomson’s, Lillie’s, Holding’s all had fire… they managed to channel it, sometimes they too lost it, but more often than not, their rage benefited their team, unfortunately for Sreesanth, he could not. Neither could he handle it and nor could anyone else could rein him in. That was all ok, many talented hot heads have lost their way in life.
But, for India, a talented seamer was always elusive. When on song and his brain in his control, Sreesanth could be devastating with the ball. I remember when we went to South Africa in 2006/07 without Sachin and with Sourav drafted in the team at the last moment it was a given that we would be thrashed by the Proteas, after a fighting 50 that Sourav scored in the first innings India got a modest 240 odd and then it was all set for South Africa to pile on the runs but, Sreesanth bowled a spell I have rarely seen by an Indian seamer in foreign conditions, South Africa’s score read 45/7 at one stage. They were eventually rolled out for 84. Sreesanth picked 5 for 40 after a spell of unbelievably controlled and accurate seam and swing bowling. India led the series 1-0 in South Africa winning the first test of the series in South Africa by 123 runs.
Everyone remember’s the dismissal of Kallis during the 2010/11 where he was delivered a brute of a delivery by the temperamental speedster from Kerala.
He had bad days too… I remember in England once when he could just not get his radar right. His arguments with opposition batsmen that went over the top. Dhoni’s public rebuke of Sreesanth over getting his overs bowled faster. But Sreesanth just couldn’t help it. Eventually he was someone who everyone found inappropriate to have around. His trouble with Harbhajan, Symonds were all fightable but… All that was still defendable, arguable for me the cricket fan, a Sreesanth fan, but the lad just crossed all limits, he just made the biggest error of his life now and I guess that is the last we ever see him on a cricket field. Not only did Sreesanth ruin his own career, he brought disrepute for the game, for us fans, for his teammates and all people who supported him. He has committed a cardinal sin for which he will now pay. Thanks to him I will always have to endure people telling me cricket is all fixed whenever I talk of my love for the game. Growing up I loved Azhar and he killed the idol I had, I used to walk like him, try to flick like him and then he decided to kill the hero I always had. Sreesanth was not a hero, but he was someone I loved, enjoyed watching and more importantly thought that India needed a seam bowler like him. Sigh…
Sreesanth was a very talented fast bowler, that India could have utilized better, nevertheless, the lad never could figure out what he wanted in life, in the end, its fair to say, he made a mess of everything he possessed.
I feel sad, very very sad. A sad day for all cricket lovers.