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Sreesanth, the fastest mouth in South Africa

Sreesanth went wicketless in the first Test in South Africa but managed to hog the attention in the second by annoying none other than the host captain, Graeme Smith. Subhash Rajta reports.

cricket Updated: Jan 04, 2011 00:38 IST
Subhash Rajta

Theatrics and S Sreesanth have always gone hand-in-hand. He is capable of somehow always turning the spotlight on himself.

Sreesanth went wicketless in the first Test in South African but managed to hog the attention in the second by annoying none other than the host captain, Graeme Smith. The South African batsman waved his bat at Sreesanth in anger as the latter appeared to make some personal comment. Smith soon lost focus and hit Sreesanth only to get caught, triggering a batting collapse that gave India a series-levelling win.

The heat generated by Sreesanth’s remark forced India skipper MS Dhoni and Smith to step aside during an ICC function to sort out the controversy. Smith made it clear Sreesanth the only unwanted element in the Indian team. Dhoni also made his frustration plain before the third Test began at Cape Town, saying Sreesanth was difficult and needed to be restrained.

But Sreesanth never seems to learn. He taunted Smith again on Sunday, the first day of the third Test, saying Smith’s comments had woken him up.

He sure was sharp on Monday. Bowling with the second new ball, he ran through the South African batting to grab five wickets.

The hosts still reached 362, thanks to a magnificent 161 by Jacques Kallis. At the end of play, India were 142 for 2 with Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar in an unbroken 114-run stand.