By M R Mishra
New Delhi: Jul 1, 2011
Speedster S Sreesanth has recovered from an elbow injury to be available for selection for India's cricket tour of England and now wants to avoid frequent breakdowns which has "pegged back his career".
Sreesanth, who was not considered for the ongoing tour of West Indies due to a right elbow injury, said he is training hard and keeping his fingers crossed to get the nod from the selectors who will sit tomorrow to name the Test squad for the England tour.
"I am absolutely fine and have bowled nearly 30 overs in the last two days. With the help of the physio and by God's grace I am bowling quick and striking good rhythm," Sreesanth told PTI today.
"During my stay here at the National Cricket Academy I have bowled to Gautam bhai (Gautam Gambhir) and he too seemed impressed with my bowling," he added.
There is a possibility that Sreesanth may also consult orthopedic surgeon Dr Andrew Wallace in London in a bid to assess his tennis elbow problem.
On his chances of being selected in the Indian squad for the England tour, Sreesanth said, "That is up to the selectors, my job is to train hard and play hard, the rest is not in my hands."
Sreesanth has played 24 Tests so far, taking 79 wickets at an average of 35.16 with three five-wicket haul but too many injuries have put paid to his hopes of a smooth career and the pacer said it was a worrying factor.
"Most definitely a cause of worry as I want to win matches for my country and these injuries just peg back my plans," he said.
Interestingly, Sreesanth made his Test debut against England at home in 2006, claiming 4 for 95 in Nagpur. In the last game of his impressive debut season, he snapped up 6 for 55 against England.
The 28-year-old Kerela pacer also toured England in 2007 and took nine wickets during the three-test series and Sreesanth said the English tour was a satisfying moment of his career.
"Oh it was one of the most memorable series I was involved in. In the end we won the Test series 1-0 and I think I did fine in that result," he said.
"I remember Zaheer bhai (Zaheer Khan) doing so well with the ball and Anil bhai (Anil Kumble) getting a hundred at the Oval. It was one of the more satisfying moments for me as a cricketer."
Though he didn't fare badly in England, his on-field antics where he bowled beamers, deliberately shouldered then England captain Michael Vaughan and other histrionics coupled with injury issues took a toll on his career.
Known for his exuberance and emotional behaviour, Sreesanth is also talked about for his dancing skills which has led to the notion that he is not serious about cricket.
But he insists the game remains his only obsession.
"Contrary to popular belief I am not about song and dance, I am about cricket. Song and dance are just a part of my life but cricket is an obsession," said Sreesanth.
"There is no better feeling than releasing the ball with a good strong wrist action and the seam of the ball staying upright all the way.
Sreesanth said he loves to live a normal life and do things that any person of his age will do.
"I read a lot, meet friends, do normal things that any guy of my age will do. I keep the negatives out and just try to focus on what I can control.
"For example I don't have a cable connection at home to watch TV. If I do I am sure there will be some story somewhere doing rounds which won't be in good taste. And sadly in the process I also don't get to watch my team playing in the West Indies. But I am happy that they are doing well," Sreesanth said.
But despite all the controversies, Sreesanth remains an important cog in the Indian pace wheel and his skills have been praised by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after he was awarded the Man of the Match for taking six wickets in the Kanpur Test against South Africa.
In fact, Sreesanth's most significant performance in Test came when India toured South Africa in 2006 and he took 5-40 in the first Test helping the team to register its first win on South African soil.