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Pak tour gave me confidence: Sreesanth

Kerala speedster had played a key role in India's victory over Pakistan in the final ODI at Karachi when he picked up four for 58.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2006 14:00 IST

Kerala speedsterS Sreesanth thinks that the Pakistan tour earlier this year has boosted his confidence and transformed him as a bowler.

"It (Pak tour) has given me a lot of confidence. After the Pakistan tour, I started taking things differently," Sreesanth said on Sunday before leaving for Abu Dhabi along with the Indian team for the two one-dayers against Pakistan.

Sreesanth, who was drafted into the national side for the one-day series against the archrivals, played a key role in India's victory over the hosts in the final one-dayer in Karachi. He picked up four wickets for 58 runs in that match to help India clinch the series 4-1.

"It has helped me. Now I am really looking forward to Abu Dhabi and the two matches," the 23-year-old, bouyed on his six-wicket haul against England in the final ODI at Indore yesterday, said.

Sreesanth, only the second cricketer from Kerala to play for India, said the break he got before yesterday's tie helped him plan out a few things.

"I was working out some plans when I got rest (in the previous match). Thank God, it worked," he said.

On getting his first man-of-the-match award, Sreesanth said, "it has happened by God's grace. I want to do the basics right and keep on doing well every time I play."

The young pacer, who has picked up 20 wickets in the 13 one-dayers he played, said it was not easy to bowl on the wicket at Indore.

"It was not an easy wicket to bowl on. All I wanted to do was keep it on. Getting two wickets in the first spell was much more difficult than getting four in the final stage when they were trying to score," he added.

About the difficulties he faced while bowling to the rampaging Kevin Pietersen, Sreesanth said it was not easy to bowl to any batsman on such a wicket and in the hot weather.

"It was not easy to bowl to any batsman on this kind of wicket and conditions. All I did was praying to God," he said.

Opener Robin Uthappa, who impressed one and all in top-scoring for India on his debut in the final ODI against England, expressed his happiness to have played a part in the team's victory.

"I am glad I could contribute to the team's success in my first game. It's a great feeling," said the Bangalore-based player, also a member of the 15-member Indian team for the Abu Dhabi one-dayers.

Uthappa said he had played with Dravid in only one match (for Karnataka) and it was a great honour to bat with the Indian skipper.

"I have played only one match with Rahul. But it's a great honour to bat along with him. He is the captain of the side. I felt comfortable out there in the middle," Uthappa said.

The young opener said before going out to bat, Dravid and coach Greg Chappell told him to work hard and play his natural game.

"They didn't say much, except to work hard and play my natural game and play it to the best of my ability," Uthappa said.

The right-handed opener, who caught the nation's attention first with his performance in the Challenger Series in Chandigarh, said he had interacted with Chappell a lot and the coach had told him about the physical and mental aspects of the game.

After playing the two ODIs, Uthappa will stay back in Abu Dhabi to turn up for India A in a six-nation tournament.

On the six-nation tournament, he said it was an important event which would enable him to finetune the technical aspects of his game.

"It will be important because I would be able to work on the finer points of my technicalities," he said.

The 'A' teams of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, along with the national teams of UAE, Holland and Ireland are to take part in the Euro-Asia event set to commence on April 21.

First Published: Apr 16, 2006 12:59 IST