By Ashish Shukla
London: Aug 20, 2011
India have been outplayed by England in the ongoing Tests but seamer S Sreesanth says despite the hammering, it is nowhere close to being the toughest series he has been part of.
Down 0-3 in the four-match series, India have lost their numero uno status in the ICC Test rankings but Sreesanth said it is still not the toughest challenge he has faced.
"I don't think it's one of the toughest series (I've been involved in). The one against South Africa at home in 2008 was tougher."
The series in question was the three-Test encounter against the Proteas when the visitors made successive scores of 500 and 400-plus totals.
But Sreesanth did concede that the Indians were getting a taste of their own medicine in the ongoing series.
"We used to do it to other teams now we are going through that phase," stated Sreesanth after England piled up a mammoth 457 for three on the second day of the fourth Test at the Oval, following the 710, 544 and 479 they made in the three preceding Tests respectively.
Sreesanth said it wasn't due to lack of effort but due to the fact that England are playing like the number one Test team in the world.
"We began well but then after lunch they took charge -- all credit to them. It wasn't bad bowling, they kept charging at us.
"They attacked, they stayed, they kept leaving good balls, not fetching outside the off-stump."
Despite the harrowing experience, Sreesanth said he enjoyed the competition against the England batsmen.
"It was a great challenge to bowl to them. I enjoyed it and kept running in hard. It's not frustrating; it's not hard (on the body). I enjoy it. There would be niggle here and there but if you can't take it, you can't do the job.
"It's a test of strength and character and most of us do feel challenged."
The medium-pacer, who got England captain Andrew Strauss out in the morning, said Sachin Tendulkar's enthusiasm despite enduring a hard day on the field, inspires him.
"I get motivated looking at Sachin paaji. Even in the 90th over, the way he tries to stop a boundary, you get motivated by that... all I did was to listen to him. He was charged up and you get motivated."
The bowler said he was not frustrated at the turn of fortunes, though he did believe that there was enough to learn from this series.
"The biggest thing (we've learnt) is it's not easy to just walk in and win matches. That's the main learning experience for me.
"It's not frustrating. If you can keep them guessing, you feel you are bowling well and you get a good sleep. You learn from it and go forward. (PTI)