Sreesanth the showman
Through Saturday and Sunday, he stared, glared, walked up to and muttered at the South Africans, reports Kadambari Murali.india Updated: Dec 18, 2006 03:06 IST
This Test has been about Sourav Ganguly’s spirited comeback; it has also been about a young man who has charmed and shocked in equal measure and — if you are Indian — left you breathless with laughter.
S Sreesanth, 23, an adolescent dancer who metamorphosed dramatically into a cricketer in adulthood, has taken S Africa by storm — with a combination of aggressive bowling and equally dramatic showmanship.
Through Saturday and Sunday, he has stared and glared, walked up to and muttered at the South Africans, doing to them what Andre Nel attempted to do to India, but with far more success.
Watched by a spellbound crowd, he laughed mockingly when he dismissed Hashim Amla and floated like a butterfly when he got Graeme Smith.
But the piece de resistance had come earlier, when he batted. He tried to back away and whack a Nel bouncer, and the bowler pointed at his chest and seemed to say that he lacked heart.
The next ball went flying over Nel’s head and the ropes. And Sreesanth hopped wildly down the wicket, waving his bat around and making suggestive pelvic thrusts. Nel had lost the battle.
He has bowled with fire too — his eight wickets have brought India to the brink of victory. As India waits for a historic Monday, the overwhelming image is of a young man who has joyously led a feisty Indian fightback and captured imaginations and hearts.