The case for Sreesanth

“Left arm spinners cannot unclog your drains, teach your children or cure your diseases. But once in a while, the very best of them will bowl a ball that will bring an entire nation to its feet. And while there is no practical use in that, there is most certainly value.”

The quote above is from Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, the debut cricket novel from the fine young Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka.

That’s the promising beginning to a piece by my friend Venkat (@venkatananth) on the enfant terrible of Indian cricket. Okay, on second thoughts, scratch enfant.

Here, read.


10 thoughts on “The case for Sreesanth

  1. GOI shall go after greedy celebrities like MSD whose priority is making money from advertisements.GOI shall frame legislation to recover damages from the individuals and the companies making false claims in advertisements and taking advantage for monetary benefits by misleading children and gullible public.If any claim in the advertisement is proven false, GOI shall recover the fees from the individual and 50% of the profit of the company during the period.

  2. MS Dhoni is like our politicians indulging in nepotism. He shall apologise to the nation for insulting fellow player Sressanth

  3. The article is so balanced that it actually corrected my earlier bias towards Sree. While I do not defend the Sree’s ludicrous behaviour on the field, i certainly buy the points jotted by Venkat. What was MS thinking when he criticised Sree in public. As a leader he should know ‘to praise in public and criticise in private’.

  4. Superb article by Venkat. It is pretty pathetic for Dhoni not to stand behind his own bowler when it appears that what Sreesanth said to Smith was not even abusive in the least.

  5. TTrue,that’s why it was more surprising to read news that in the middle of the series his Captain MSD was berating him,and that he could not control him,maybe the treatment might have been different had his name been RP Singh or Jadeja.
    Have seen Zak also regularly mouth off after getting batsmen out,now lesser than earlier days

  6. Top article. Prem had written elsewhere about how Sree set Prince up and did him in. Venkat also mentions this dismissal and delves more into guy’s bowling. It is a pity that his antics come to the forefront in all media accounts.

    Sharing what Kaushik had written as early as 2007 here.

    “Our second mistake has been to fall for the Aussie line on Sreesanth. Sure, he has been wayward with the ball and with his mouth. But in the former instance, he really hasn’t gone for more runs than Zaheer or R.P. Singh (only Pathan amongst the seamers has been consistently more economical). And in the latter case, he’s really no worse (and far better) than the so-called “great” fast bowlers from Australia or South Africa who bring the game into far greater disrepute day in and day out than Sreesanth does. He appeals too much? Well, ever seen Shaun Pollock’s fits when he strikes batsmen on the pads yards outside off-stump? Bowls the occasional beamer? Ever seen the ball “slip” out of Brett Lee’s hands with unerring regularity whenever he’s been hit for a few? Chatters to the batsman too much? Ever seen Andre Nel’s running commentary after every ball he bowls? Gives “inappropriate” lip? Even saw Allan Donald go ballistic at Dravid after being hit for a few; or Glenn McGrath go ballistic at just about everyone who manages to lay the middle of his bat on his deliveries? Pollock, of course, is a great all-rounder. Lee, of course, is a great and genuine fast bowler. Nel, of course, is a “game tryer” (since he also happens to be a mediocre cricketer, one cannot label great epithets on him). Donald and McGrath, of course, are two of the greatest cricketers of the modern era (forget the fact that Wasim, Waqar, Ambrose and Walsh, to name but four of their contemporaries, could make the ball talk and sing in ways that Donald and McGrath could only dream about, and that too without opening their mouths). But Sreesanth is derided, ridiculed, patronized.”

    “What is disappointing is that the Indian media seems to have fallen in line with the “Sreesanth’s behavior is inappropriate” line, and are evaluating him based on his personality rather than on his bowling”

    If Sree has not grown up, neither has the media…

    • My guess (its only a guess, I can’t give any evidence whatsoever) is that this double-standard in international cricket is because of the Australian coterie. While that is nothing surprising or particularly wrong(who wouldn’t consider their own countrymen above others?), the key is that their judgements affected the way our journos judge our players. There are a number of journos who were close to Greg Chappel and literally worked against the best interests of Indian cricket. Similarly, you can see a number of people who behaved like mouthpieces of Ian Chappel at times. Perhaps it is because of the respect they have towards them, but there are enough people in our media who tend to give more importance to the words of these guys.

      But one stuff that threw me out of my chair was Dhoni’s public remarks. Something must have happened behind the scenes for sure, but I cant still fathom why he would do that. I didnt see Steve Waugh or Lara publicly admonishing either McGrath or Lara after their little standoff. I haven’t heard any captain saying to Andre Nel that he talks too much. I am okay if Dhoni really want to end this crap in his team. But it doesn’t look like so, its more like end Sreesanth’s crap. Poor guy, he doesnt have a godfather (unlike someone like Bhajji, who is going to now play IPL with…you know who…under the captaincy of…you know who…)

      • I don’t know that it makes analytical sense to put all of the media in one bucket, Jazzy. For instance, I genuinely detest some of Sree’s more over the top antics — partly because in a sense I am somewhat of a purist, but more because I can see the harm his acting up at times does to his game. That is not because comments by one of the Chappells influenced my thinking (incidentally, though I know both of them, neither are ‘friends’ — the title ‘friend’ is not something I am prone to confuse with ‘acquaintance’).

        All of that said, I was against — and I think I said so at the time — MS publicly admonishing Sree. If Sree’s behavior needed admonition, it should have been done within the confines of the dressing room; in public, you support him. it makes no sense to give your opposition that kind of ammunition, for one thing. And in the middle of a Test series of this magnitude, it makes no sense whatever to put pressure on the one bowler you need to be firing at his best.

        I’d agree with one point you make — MS targeted Sree, but left other, even more obvious, offenders alone. Which is why Venkat’s point, that if abuse is bad then action should have been taken against Bajji for audibly abusing Sree on the field of play — is very well taken.

    • Thanks for that link, mate — I totally agree with the point that has been made. Drawing hard lines is one thing, but making a bowler feel unwanted is something else.

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