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Fear of being banned has also calmed me: Sreesanth

Indian pacer Sreesanth thinks that the fear of being banned due to his eccentric approach has calmed him, apart from the Ayurvedic treatment.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2008 04:01 PM IST

Ayurvedic treatment may have played its part in calming down S Sreesanth, but the mercurial Indian pacer says another factor that has helped him control his infamous temper is the threat of an ICC ban that may be imposed if he crosses the line the next time.

"Ayurvedic treatment and yoga is helping me stay calm. And besides, if I mess up the ICC may ban me for at least three Tests and I keep this thing in mind when I take the field," Sreesanth, who was here to launch a scholarship programme for kids, told reporters today.

"That is one of the reasons that has made me 'shanth' (quiet) now. Even my name says santh," he quipped.

The flamboyant pacer, who has a history of being involved in on-field spats with rival teams, said he has finally learnt to draw the line.

"For instance in Australia, I told myself that there is a very thin line between foolishness and bravery. So everytime I got angry over something, I just rushed back to my run-up to calm myself," he said.

In fact, the tour Down Under was uncharacteristically quiet for Sreesanth where neither his temper nor his bowling could put him in spotlight but the Kerala bowler said he did have his moments despite coming back from an injury layoff.

"I couldn't do all that well in Australia because I was coming back from a shoulder injury and had very little practice going into the series," he explained.

"But I did play my role at crucial junctures and hopefully I will do better in the upcoming series against South Africa," he added.

On the shoulder niggle that has been troubling him, Sreesanth said ayurvedic treatment has helped him recover from a condition where a surgery would have taken him off the game for at least six months.

"If I had gone for surgery then I was sure to miss out for six months. But a 21-day ayurvedic treatment program helped immensly to get me fit for the ODI series in Australia and it is getting better now. It has been tough but I am enjoying myself now," he said.

Sreesanth feels next week's three-Test series against South Africa at home would be tough for him as pitches in India have a reputation of being not too pace-friendly.

"It will be tough but this implies to all the fast bowlers not just me. But there has to be a way to succeed. I guess we just have to keep the basics right," he said.

The 25-year-old bowler said the pressure of performing well in front of adoring home fans will also spur him to give his best.

"There will be pressure to perform well after the team's success this season but I enjoy it. I guess, the more the pressure the more we perform well," he said.

"I will not target any particular batsman as all of them are very good. I will just try to keep the basics right. I didn't really do well in Australia but in India I generally perform better. I am a much more matured cricketer now," he said.

He credited the improvement to bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh.

"It was really nice having Venky bhai and Robin sir. They helped me a lot. Robin sir assisted me in improving my bowling to left handers as he himself was a left hander.

"My fielding was not all that good but Robin sir has brought about improvement in that aspect as well," Sreesanth said.

Away from the field, Indian cricketers have also been making news for their fascination for several Bollywood starlets but Sreesanth clarified, "We are not chasing them, they are running after us."

On being asked about his much-talked about admiration for former Miss World Priyanka Chopra, Sreesanth said a minor publicity campaign for a soap was taken too seriously by the media.

"It was an advertising campaign for a soap commercial ... a mere joke. But I enjoyed it and it was fun, there was nothing serious about it," he said.

"Besides as long as I am single, I don't have to run after any Bollywood actress," he added.

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