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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Sreesanth relishes battle for starting spot

N Ananthanarayanan | March 15, 2007 20:39 IST

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Paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth looks likely to miss out on a starting place at the World Cup but said that could be the best thing to happen for him.

India play Bangladesh in their first Group B tie on Saturday but Sreesanth is not expected to find a place in the line-up immediately due to the presence of the pace trio Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and Munaf Patel.

However, Sreesanth, who was a dance champion as a boy, was still confident of skipping his way to a regular spot later in the tournament.

"I like it this way," he said at a team net practice near Port-of-Spain on Wednesday. "I like to struggle and get something rather than get it easily. I'm sure I will get the opportunity."

Sreesanth, 24, one of India's new crop of pacemen, has impressed with his spirit and wicket-taking abilities which won him Cup selection despite being expensive in one-dayers.

CRUCIAL ROLE

He played a crucial role with another young pace bowler, Patel, when India won their first Test series in the Caribbean for 35 years in 2006.

He also took eight wickets to help India win the first Test against South Africa at Johannesburg late last year, finishing with 18 wickets in the 2-1 series defeat.

His natural aggression has caught the imagination of Indian fans since his debut against England in late 2005.

The exuberant Sreesanth provided the most enduring TV image in South Africa when he danced down the pitch whirling his bat after he hit paceman Andre Nel for six at Wanderers.

He said that Nel had taunted him, saying he could smell blood.

The Kerala player was confident he would gain from his past Caribbean experience at the World Cup.

"I was lucky to play all the matches here last year," he said. "One big lesson I learnt was to be patient, wait for the wickets to come rather than go looking for them.

"It is not enough at this level to just run in fast."

The seven-week long World Cup in the Caribbean culminates with the final on April 28 in Barbados.


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