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Vilakudy Days

Monday, January 08, 2007

CAN HE EVER BOWL KERALA OVER?


The Mid Day, Bombay’s most influential tabloid, ran a front-page headline: “Move over Mammooty and Mohanlal, Sreesanth has arrived.” Ravi Shastri and Harsha Bhogle were heard on TV saying Sree is the most popular Malayalee in Kerala. All this happened after the Kerala speedster ripped through the South African top-order at the Wanderers. I wondered: Was it so? I never knew. Then some of my colleagues started congratulating me on behalf of Sreesanth just because I am from Kerala. They asked me if he was a superstar in Kerala. I said ‘No;. Sreesanth was suddenly the talking point. But frankly, I was not excited. Nor am I a fan of Sreesanth. If I love and admire anyone in this Indian team, it is only one man: the courageous Sourav Chandidas Ganguly. Let me not talk about Dada. No blogger can capture his determination and passion.

Is Sreesanth the most popular Keralite? No. Days after the Wanderers Test, a Malayala Manorama poll named Achutanandan, the Kerala Chief Minister, newsmaker of the year. I was not surprised. Nor did my friends. Many Keralaites (maybe few) whom I talked were not impressed with Sreesanth’s attitude and behaviour. The way he behaves himself at public functions in Kerala left many Keralites completely angry. At a public function, he demanded more security for himself from no less than a DGP, seeking more policemen for his protection. What did he think? Would the crowd have attacked him? No way.
The irony is even in the Indian dressing room, he does not find many friends. Though his performance in South Africa may have changed other players’ perception towards him to an extent, it still lingers. According to a Bombay-based newspaper, Harbhajan Singh, another controversial figure in Indian cricket for his outbursts, gave Sreesanth a dressing down at the dressing room after Sreesanth sledged Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag in the Challenger Trophy. I don’t know how many people have seen him taking on the “gentleman” Sachin Tendulkar. It was like this: Sachin defended two balls in a row. An excited or angry or arrogant Sreesanth went up to Sachin and mocked at him: “Why don’t you hit me?” Sreesanth, I have seen it, came dangerously close to Sachin, and stared at him. Sachin was taken for surprise. Why the kid is behaving like this? He would have mumbled. The gentleman he is, Sachin remained calm. Sreesanth was inviting trouble. And Sachin let the bat to do the talking. The next ball, Sachin stepped out and hit Sree for a huge six; then went up to him and said, “Don’t ever come this near to me.” Later, he also abused Sehwag, who hit two boundaries off his bowling. He asked Sehwag, “Why don’t you hit boundaries like this in International Cricket? That was a kid asking a great cricketer like Sehwag. In the evening, back in the dressing room, it was Harbhajan who put Sreesanth in his place. He was dropped from the team. According to Bombay sports journalists, it was not purely because of his performance, but on factors like this as well.
Dada was arrogant, but not against his own teammates. He was at his aggressive best against Steve Waugh and Andrew Flintoff. Not against his teammates and not against some tail-enders. Giving the devil its due, in the current form, he is the best bowler in the country after Zaheer Khan. The six priceless wickets at Johannesberg gifted India a rare victory overseas. The ball he dismissed the world’s best batsman Brian Lara in the West Indies tour was a peach of a delivery that took Lara by complete surprise.

Here is another tale. Soon after he got a place in Indian team and tasted the initial success, our man suddenly thought of changing his name. Again according to sports journalists in Bombay, he is obsessed with superstitions. He went and met a leading tarot reader in Bombay and changed his name from Shantakumaran Sreesanth to Sreesunth. He messaged to leading sports reporters in Bombay about his name-change. If you did not notice, he made two minor changes for better luck and prosperity. First, he dropped his father’s name. Then, he changed that ‘a’ to ‘u’. The world was informed through the media, but not his parents. Only when some reporter called up his home to confirm the news, his parents came to know about it. His father reportedly cried and called up his son and asked him to revert to his original name. That is how Sreesunth again became Sreeanth. Even Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi reported the tamasha. Another Kerala scribe tells me how he started ignoring ex-BCCI official SK Nair, who was instrumental in pushing him to the national level , after getting into Team India. That is thanklessness at its best.

Probably, this is why he has not yet been a huge favourite among Keralites. Kerala, I have a feeling, does not like arrogant upstarts like him. Prithviraj, despite his terrific acting skills, is yet to strike a chord among Malayalees. The young suave actor had a vitriolic attack on Mohanlal and Mammooty even before he set his feet firmly on the Malayalam silver screen. Kerala loves open-hearted, less-arrogant, modest, but strong personalities. That is why the affable Achuthanandan, not the powerful Pinarayi, is the favourite politician even at 89. That is also why Mohanlal, at 45 +, remains Kerala’s Numero Uno actor. Sreesanth has a long, long way to go before becoming Kerala’s THE poster boy.

50 Comments:

Blogger Observer's Outpost said...

I do agree with you on the issue but common, give the kid a break. He is new to the squad, he is rough, he is ambitious. Its seniors who have to show him his place. I am sure he will mellow down with time.

About his antics off the field, the blame squarely lies on the media. He has been the cynosure of print/electronic media since the first test. Every small thing he does is played up large. The larger than life projection is the problem. A kid like him will obviously bask under the new found fame. Stop writing abt him for a while and see the difference. The more mileage you give to him, the more stupidities he is going to commit.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Cmon..Why should we diss the guy.Let us celebrate his achievements

* How many fast bowlers in India after Kapil have bowled like Sree had in Wanderers and run through an opposition like this and win a test match for India ? So many people came and went - Prabhakar/Srinath/ Prasad/ Mohanty/ Tinu Yohannan. Even in the current crop of bowlers - Pathan/Balaji/Nehra etc nobody has done anything like this.

* The manner in which he bowled lately - if you saw the last Test match in Windies , he got Lara out to a snorter of a delivery. He got Lara about 3 times.

* He got more wickets than Pollock or Ntini or any other bowler in this series.

* People like Chappel have commented on how consistent his seam position is - and he has seen many a fast bowler - Lille, Thoomo etc.

* He is a kid and he will show all kinds of nonsense in the field. That is because hes young. No doubt after 5-10 years, he will look at the videotapes and laugh. But what he did to Nel deserved it.

* He is arrogant and brash and taunts people - Sehwag and Sachin also have been his victims

All in all a talent like Sree happens once in a blue moon. Let us apprecaite him for his talent and achievements. You got to give it to the kid. He has spunk and has what Dileep Premachandran in Cricinfo said - the "mongrel attitude" and agggression which no Indian bowler had.

Today hes the brand ambassador for Mather. Tomorrow he could be sharing screen space with Kareena Kapoor or Shah Rukh Khan

Let us be proud that Sreekuttan is a Malayali

2:50 PM  
Blogger Pentimento said...

To be honest, I was taken aback by Sreesanth's antics on the field when he went head to head with another hothead, Andrew Nell. And then, I smiled and had a belly laugh when he hit Nell for a six and started swinging the bat and his hips like Elvis Presley on Xanax. I guess we are so used to the polite and gentlemanly cricketers from India, that it is hard to justify and make room for Sreesanth's swagger. I guess things related to Indian etiquette are changing among the younger crop of athletes. I would just settle for some consistent play from India. Sreesanth or no Sreesanth.

3:11 AM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Unni. Thanks for reading the post. Here the argument is not whether 'Sreekuttan' made us proud or not. Or he is a great bowler or not. It is about his popularity or acceptance in Kerala. The fact that he represents Team India itself makes all of us proud. As I mentioned in the post, he is the best bowler in the team after Zaheer Khan. You are talking about the current crop, which included Pathan, Nehra and Balaji. But they are not currently in the team. Hence we can't compare. But on their day, all are great bowlers. Pathan created history by taking a hat-trick on the first three balls of a Test match. Nehra bowled a dream spell against England in the World Cup. I agree Sree is talented, but he is yet to get a pan-Kerala appreaciation. Had he gained such popularity, he would have emerged top in the Manorama newsmaker polls, which was conducted after the five-wicket haul and histrionics. Let us not call him a great bowler. Let him prove and let Kerala decide.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Pentimento said...

I maintain: Indian cricketers need to show consistency or get out. I could care less about any popularity contests, and who is better than whom or any attempts of one-upmanship that seems to be defining the current generation.

4:46 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

It is about his popularity or acceptance in Kerala.
>> In Kerala, apart from PT Usha/Shiny Wilson and Anju George we havent had much cause for celebration in the international sporting arena. But cricket is a sport that has far more reach than athletics.

Let me tell you I was elated when Tinu Yohannan got a first over wicket when he made his debut in Tests. Unfortunately he didnt make the most of his opportunities and look where he is now. Sree has been in the scene for more than a year and has shown amply that he is here to stay. Having said that I hope and pray that he doesnt suffer a burn out like Pathan did.

If you read cricinfo (having arguably the most unbiased columnists and THE site for world cricket), you will see that at the end of the SA tour, Sreesanth was signing as much autographs as much as Sachin. Thats a true sign of his If he can sustain his performances, its only a matter of time that Sree will be seen in all kinds of ads and will become a household name in Kerala.

The fact that he represents Team India itself makes all of us proud. As I mentioned in the post, he is the best bowler in the team after Zaheer Khan.
>> Wrong. If you look at the SA tour, Sree was easily the best bowler and zaheer was his foil not the other way around. Sree finished with the maximum wickets more than Pollock/Ntini and remeber they were playing at their home grounds. What more can you ask? He was the best bowler in either team. And Zaheer is yet to win India a test match with his bowling.

You are talking about the current crop, which included Pathan, Nehra and Balaji. But they are not currently in the team. Hence we can't compare.
>> I am talking about all fast bowlers who played for India in the last 15 years. Barring Kapil Dev, there was no fast bowler who ran through an opposition as Sree did. Remember SA were bundled out for a paltry 84, just 18 more than India's lowest score in SA (66). Most importantly we won the test match also.


But on their day, all are great bowlers. Pathan created history by taking a hat-trick on the first three balls of a Test match.
>> Yes..And what happened there after? Pathan was unable to sustain his performance in the 2nd innings and we lost the test match AND the series. Also remember we are talking about a match in Karachi which had sub-continent conditions very similar to India's. Sree's spell resulted in India winning a test match.

Nehra bowled a dream spell against England in the World Cup.
>> Just an ODI match and that too in tailor made conditions for swing bowling. Remember it takes far more to bowl a consistent spell over a period of 5 days rather than in an ODI. Nehra's only performance of note was against a lowly Zimbabwe. In SA, Sree followed up his performance in the first test with another in the Second test as well. Nehra is no where even in the picture now.

I agree Sree is talented, but he is yet to get a pan-Kerala appreaciation. Had he gained such popularity, he would have emerged top in the Manorama newsmaker polls, which was conducted after the five-wicket haul and histrionics. Let us not call him a great bowler. Let him prove and let Kerala decide.

>> Manorama may have its own reasons to do a poll with Sreesanth.You just cannot compare apples to oranges..Its as ridiculous as asking who is better Sachin Tendulkar or Amitabh Bachchan. Both are giants in their own rights.

Sree may not be the greatest bowler..heck..he may not even be in the team at the end of the year..Look at Pathan where he is now..reminds you of..randu naalu dinam kondurathane thandilettidunnathum bhavaaan..It may happen to Sree also. But till then we have a cause to celebrate. It doesnt matter if hes or not the most popular man in Kerala - a state which didnt even have a proper test bowler for 50 odd years. Sree is the man of the moment and he has every reason to "show-off".

Another thing which Id like to comment is Sree's supposed sledging to Sachin/Sehwag - Its not a crime to sledge. The two best sledgers in world cricket retired in Sydney last week.

Incidentally it was by taking Sachin's wicket in the Challengers that Sree shot to fame. And as for Sehwag, it was a perfectly honest sledge - "you never score those runs in International cricket". It was/is a fact. Its similar to the recent Ashes, where Shane warne sledged Paul Collingwood "You got the MBE for just 7 runs at the Oval, right? ". It was nothing but the truth.

4:01 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Thanks for posting the comments, that too point by point. Let me try to answer the points in the same way.

1. Did you forget our I M Vijayan? He is the most popular sportsperson in his prime, and that too he played football, again easily the undisputed game in Kerala? Cricket may be the most popular game in India, but football is a passion in Kerala. You must have seen how the Kerala media covered EVEN the Santosh Trophy last year. We celebrated the World Cup football as if it was held in Kozhikode. Cricket does not have that much popularity in Kerala despite India being an important team. About him being mobbed by autograph-seekers outside Kerala, I don’t have any problems. My article clearly focuses about Kerala’s response to the fast bolwer. Will he be mobbed by autograph-hunters, say In Thiruvananthapuram or Thrissur?

2. It is nothing but a joke when you say Sree is a better bowler than Zaheer Khan. Zaheer Khan is a proved cricketer. Though he has been sidelined by Chappel for being close top Sourav Ganguly, he remains our top bowler. Wasim Akram, Allan Donald, Kapil Dev and most of the commentators said so on different occasions. Your admiration for ‘Sreekuttan’ crosses its limit when you take his name along with the great Kapil Dev!!!!. Let us not even dream like that. And you forgot bowlers like Sreenath. He is our neighbour, at least.!!!!

3. You are saying Pathan has just faded away after that hat-trick feat. Was that the only performance that made him great? He did very well against Australia and most of the series. Chappel-More-Dravid team ‘raped’ a huge talent by over-experimentation. If he gets back his form, he is definitely a better bowler than Sreesanth.

4. You are saying Manorama may have their own reasons for naming Achuthanandan as the newsmaker. What do you mean by that? It was an opinion poll conducted through online and textmessages. The people of and from Kerala voted in the poll. Does that mean that the poll was rigged? A responsible paper like Manorama will never do that. If at all they do, they would have voted it in favour of Sreesanth than Achuthanandan, the Marxist Chief Minister of Kerala. I don’t know whether you follow Kerala politics keenly, but Manorama has a clear pro-Congress stand. Hence, they would have loved to make the MRF-trained Sree the newsmaker. The CM was the undisputed winner. No one even came close. Let me add here another thing. Most of the voters would have been youngsters like us as it was they who use Internet and textmessages. And most of them could have been cricket-lovers as well. Yet the CM emerged winner. There are many polls which placed Sachin Tendulkar ahead of the Big B. I know apples and oranges can be compared, but here they are all in the same basket to be sold. But if a consumer prefers oranges to apples and oranges are selling faster, then he will stop selling apples at all. Comparisons are imminent.

5. Is it a crime that Kerala did not produce a fast-bolwer in the last 50 years? It is like saying Kerala does not have a McDonald outlet? Kerala has some very good reasons to be proud of. Its human development index; its health standards. Kerala is being described as a role-model in many universities. We don’t mind, but we are not desperate to get a cricket celebrity.

6. I am for sledging. If Australians and S Africans can sledge, why not Indians and Sri Lankans? But two of the world’s best cricketers, let me not call him just sledgers, NEVER sledged against Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting. And their first-class cricket is stronger and competitive than Indias’s National Team. It is not like our Challenger Trophy. One can get aggressive, but not for the sake of being aggressive. A person who has dropped his father’s name after tasting international success will only do that. Maybe, he should look up to Dada for such things.

7. You are contradicting yourself when you say that Sree may not be in the team next year. That shows your lack of confidence in him. The number of matches we play every year, every player will be out of form sometime. The way you undergraded both Pathan and Nehra left me completely surprised, especially you being such a knowledgable person in cricket. When back in form, Irfan and Zaheer will be our opening combination. Then come Sreesanth and all others. You are praising too much for his five-wicket haul and his match-winning feat. against Proteas. One season can change fortunes. Forgot Hirwani who took 16 wickets against West Indies?

FINAL WORD: Let Sreesanth do very well for a longtime and become a better bowler and a better human being. Let success change him. If he could do that, I will post a blog in praise of him. Maybe, then Kerala will really adore him. But for that, he has to go a long long long long way _ both on and off the field.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Kannan said...

I agree that he is not a popular figure in Kerala, but as long as he performs in the Indian team or in the Kerala Ranji team, should we care about his popularity? Sure he is arrogant, as a reporter who featured him in one city (shitty I know, still) express article I know and have seen the change in him as he went on to become a national player.
From being a small guy who was touted a big prospect to his near-extinction (I know on Moosa from Cochin CC who carted him all over all most from the middle of the pitch in the Maharaja’s College Ground, Kochi, in a tournament conducted by Sreesanth’s mentor Sivakumar) and his rise to fame, I think I have seen all that along with Mathrubhoomi reporter Shaijumon.
But having said that, do all those stories count as long as he performs? You say he was put in place by Harbhajan Singh, Sachin and the selectors. Was that not enough lesson for him? If he fails to learn from that surely he is the loser, in the long term.
I have something to say about the name changing thing too. Though that was news to me, I was not surprised. His super religious stupidity was, in fact, supported by his parents. Haven’t you heard the luoder-than-whisper comments about him touring with the Kerala team and not playing during a full Ranji season? People in the team say that he used to feint injury during the team selection but insist on touring. It was said that one astrologer had forecast that it would do a world of good to him if he not play in the Ranji season. If that stupidity was allowed by his parent, and surprisingly by KCA, then why should anybody shed tears on his name-changing silliness. One clarification though. He was always S Sreesanth. He was not using the expansion of his father’s name. It was the sirname-carzy North Indian press which shortened it to Sreesunth or Sree Sunth, and then lengthened it to Santhakumaran Sreesanth.
A comment on Mohanlal and Mammootty retaining the super stardom in Kerala than the much younger and talented Prithviraj. I don’t think it has anything to do with his arrogance or loud-mouthiness. But it has to do with the fact that Malayalis for prefer only 30-35+ as heroes. And 20-somethings as our dreamgirls.
Was Manorama polling about popular Malayali or the malayali news maker of the year? I think it was the latter. Not sure though.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

1. Did you forget our I M Vijayan? He is the most popular sportsperson in his prime, and that too he played football, again easily the undisputed game in Kerala? Cricket may be the most popular game in India, but football is a passion in Kerala. You must have seen how the Kerala media covered EVEN the Santosh Trophy last year. We celebrated the World Cup football as if it was held in Kozhikode. Cricket does not have that much popularity in Kerala despite India being an important team. About him being mobbed by autograph-seekers outside Kerala, I don’t have any problems. My article clearly focuses about Kerala’s response to the fast bolwer. Will he be mobbed by autograph-hunters, say In Thiruvananthapuram or Thrissur?

>> I was talking about the International Sporting Arena. Correct me if im wrong, has IM Vijayan won a match for India in a major tournament against a major opponent(by that I dont mean the SAF games).I also did not comment on the popularity of cricket/ football in Kerala.

Sree may not be mobbed in Thiruvanathapuram or Thrissur but he sure will be in Bombay/Chennai where the reach of cricket is more.

2. It is nothing but a joke when you say Sree is a better bowler than Zaheer Khan. Zaheer Khan is a proved cricketer. Though he has been sidelined by Chappel for being close top Sourav Ganguly, he remains our top bowler. Wasim Akram, Allan Donald, Kapil Dev and most of the commentators said so on different occasions. Your admiration for ‘Sreekuttan’ crosses its limit when you take his name along with the great Kapil Dev!!!!. Let us not even dream like that. And you forgot bowlers like Sreenath. He is our neighbour, at least.!!!!
>> Zaheer Khan better than Sreesanth because he has played more matches ? Yes. But because he won test matches for India with a bowling performance like Sree did against a major opposition? Defintely not. Zaheer is yet to win a match for India in tests abroad against a quality opposition with his bowling. He has taken a fifer against Aus at the Gabba. A few performances like that. None like what Sree did - ANNIHILATING a batting lineup under 84 in any country is no mean feat. Zaheer Khan/Venkatesh Prasad/Sreenath has not done that. Sree did well in his debut match in India against England.

And Sreenath is our neighbour? So what. Do we have to do some favous by liking him? He was a good bowler at best. He was never a great bowler. To see his real class one need just to look at the 2003 world cup where he was tonked by ponting and co at the wanderers for 87 runs off his 10 overs and Zaheer for 67 off his 7 overs at ironically, the Wanderers, the same venue where Sree took that fifer.

Allan Donald himself told in his column what he thought about Sreesanth and his seam position. Greg Chappel who has seen fast bowling giants like Lillee and Thompson told he never saw anyone bowl with a consistent seam position as Sree did.

Zaheer Khan was dropped from the team not being close to Saurav but because his performances was pathetic in the Pakistan series. He was a cropper then. He had a county stint at Worcester and he regained his form. Now he is in the team along with Saurav on the basis of performance. Saurav was dropped because he was a non-playing captain. The break did good for him.

3. You are saying Pathan has just faded away after that hat-trick feat. Was that the only performance that made him great? He did very well against Australia and most of the series. Chappel-More-Dravid team ‘raped’ a huge talent by over-experimentation. If he gets back his form, he is definitely a better bowler than Sreesanth.

>> As far as i know, Pathan along with Balaji helped India win a test series in Pakistan. In Australia, his clame to fame was that reverse swinging yorker that bowled Adam Gilchrist at Sydney and Steve Waugh. He didnt exactly run through the opposition. Of course if he regains his mojo he will be better than Sree because hes a batsman too. Incidentally Pathan was a flop in the Windies series . Sree did well there and was instrumental in us winning a series outside the sub-continent in 20 years. A long time that.

4. You are saying Manorama may have their own reasons for naming Achuthanandan as the newsmaker. What do you mean by that? It was an opinion poll conducted through online and textmessages. The people of and from Kerala voted in the poll. Does that mean that the poll was rigged? A responsible paper like Manorama will never do that. If at all they do, they would have voted it in favour of Sreesanth than Achuthanandan, the Marxist Chief Minister of Kerala. I don’t know whether you follow Kerala politics keenly, but Manorama has a clear pro-Congress stand. Hence, they would have loved to make the MRF-trained Sree the newsmaker. The CM was the undisputed winner. No one even came close. Let me add here another thing. Most of the voters would have been youngsters like us as it was they who use Internet and textmessages. And most of them could have been cricket-lovers as well. Yet the CM emerged winner. There are many polls which placed Sachin Tendulkar ahead of the Big B. I know apples and oranges can be compared, but here they are all in the same basket to be sold. But if a consumer prefers oranges to apples and oranges are selling faster, then he will stop selling apples at all. Comparisons are imminent.

>> I am a keen follower of kerala politics and I am aware that Manorama is/was pro-congress right from the times of Kandathil Varghese Mappila. Let me tell you. This business of online poll is a big sham. You press on the voting button 25 times or sending an sms 25 times, your vote gets registered. There are ways of cheating the website. It does not give an indication of the true picture.

You say Manorama is "responsible" -This is the news paper that blew up the "Chaara case" resulting in lot of families going through hell. This is the paper that gave lurid details of Bill Clinton's under-the-table antics with Ms Lewinsky. But yes thats why its popular!!! Manorama's forte is always to sensationalize news and they achieved their objective.

Incidentally talking of online polls, recently Asianet conducted a poll "kalavarsham keralathinu nallatho cheethayao"!!!!!

As for Achu mama, he is a veteran of kerala politics and he was famous in his own rights much before Sreesanth was in his nappies. This sort of comparisons are pointless. Compare Achuthanandan with EMS or Achutha Menon. It would be fair. Not to a kid like Sreesanth.

Recently Mohan Lal was voted as the most popular malayalaee. His opponents included the late President KR Narayanan. Does that mean KRN was in any way lesser than Lal?

5. Is it a crime that Kerala did not produce a fast-bolwer in the last 50 years? It is like saying Kerala does not have a McDonald outlet? Kerala has some very good reasons to be proud of. Its human development index; its health standards. Kerala is being described as a role-model in many universities. We don’t mind, but we are not desperate to get a cricket celebrity.

>> It is never a crime not to produce a fast bowler. It is a however a shame that we didnt even produce one international cricketer for some 50 years - considering that cricket is the most popular sport in India.

And what has producing a fast bowler to do with opening a Mac and human development index and health standards?

This is not about kerala being a role model. We are famous and infamous for different things. It was not a question of desperation to get a cricketing celebrity. We were simply not good in cricket. So we could not produce a world class cricketer.


6. I am for sledging. If Australians and S Africans can sledge, why not Indians and Sri Lankans? But two of the world’s best cricketers, let me not call him just sledgers, NEVER sledged against Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting. And their first-class cricket is stronger and competitive than Indias’s National Team. It is not like our Challenger Trophy. One can get aggressive, but not for the sake of being aggressive. A person who has dropped his father’s name after tasting international success will only do that. Maybe, he should look up to Dada for such things.

>> Sledging as banter is fine. It should not be of abusing your color or your families. So what if Sachin/Sehwag never sledged. Did that fetch India a world cup or something ? Sree's sledging has nothing to do with his name change and his aggression unsettled the Proteas.

And Dada - who was going around with Nagma - is no example for Sree in anyway:-))


7. You are contradicting yourself when you say that Sree may not be in the team next year. That shows your lack of confidence in him. The number of matches we play every year, every player will be out of form sometime. The way you undergraded both Pathan and Nehra left me completely surprised, especially you being such a knowledgable person in cricket. When back in form, Irfan and Zaheer will be our opening combination. Then come Sreesanth and all others. You are praising too much for his five-wicket haul and his match-winning feat. against Proteas. One season can change fortunes. Forgot Hirwani who took 16 wickets against West Indies?

>> I am not contradicting my statement, my friend. I just was apprehensive over the future. Barring a Glen Mcgrath to an extent, every fast bowler has had his share of injuries and loss of form. I was hoping and praying that Sree is able to maintain his steam over the next few years. He has been around for more than a year. Hopefully he will maintain his form.

When back in form, Irfan and Zaheer can be our combination, no doubt. But that is when Irfan regains his mojo playing Ranji matches (Incidentally he got wollopped for 108 runs in his 22 overs against UP in a Ranji match last week - which is not a good sign).

Hirwani took 16 wickets in India against Windies. But he never did anything noteworthy after that.

Sree has been around for more than a year and has showed his form in the test series against England in India, against Windies in the carribean, against SA in SA.

The ultimate challenge of a cricketer is to do well in Tests and that too away. I still maintain - Barring Kapil no other Indian pace bowler has destroyed a strong opposition in an away series in the manner Sree did.
And remember we are talking about a mere 84 runs here.

FINAL WORD: Let Sreesanth do very well for a longtime and become a better bowler and a better human being. Let success change him. If he could do that, I will post a blog in praise of him. Maybe, then Kerala will really adore him. But for that, he has to go a long long long long way _ both on and off the field.

>> Even if kerala doesnt vote him as the most popular youngster he will do well. If he were in any other state he would have been an instant celebrity like a MS Dhoni. Why did VP Sathyan, the late footballer "immigrate" to Tamil Nadu? Why did Shiny wilson choose Chennai as her base? Us malayalis belive in the axiom muttathe mullakku manamilla

3:57 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

See Unni. Please have a look at Kannan's comments. People tell me many things about your Sreekuttan which I can't put it here. Many many such incidents like Kannan said. Lke the way he feigns injuries. Bombay journalists have more inside stories. How can you say that he will do very well? Are you an astrologer whom the Sreesanth consults? Your final word says it all.You are now blaming Kerala for not treating him well.Kerala will, but before that let him behave properly. You made him a big hero on the basis of one performance. Time will decide his place in history. Please don't blame Kerala for not recognising him. Pushing your case, you blame Kerala, Manorama, Dada and whomever I mentioned. You are treating him like Wasim Akram or Kapil Dev. He is small kid. Let him grow up. Many told me that we are taking him too seriously. That is the truth. Ask him not to forget the roots; the way he came up and don't forget a man called S K Nair, who was instrumental in pushing him to the limelight. Such thankless, superstitious, arrogant behaviour will take him nowhere.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Danto said...

The Indian team will perform well only after we think in terms of it being an Indian team with Indian players and not players from Mumbai, Kolkata or Kerala. God help India! Not Mumbai, Kolkata or Kerala!

5:45 AM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Ideally, yes. But things are not ideal in Indian cricket. The least parochial captain in recent times, Dada, was shunted out after a conspiracy by an Australina and a Bombay-based joker called More. Some South Indian journalists flooded their sports pages with pro-Dravid pieces. That is the way things are. We can't help. If someone tries to sing a diffrent tune, they will be thrown out. Though, Dilip Vengsarakar offers hope by bringing back Kumble, Laxman and Dada.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

I dont have any journalist friends. So i dont have any insider information on why Sree changed his name, about his injuries, who he slept with ,
whom he ignored etc. Frankly I wouldnt even care if he changes his name to something else.

I only look at his performances on the field. If you look at my comments, its based on pure facts and statistics of his performances rather than
speculations or rumors about his names and other things.

As a keen follower of World cricket and Indian cricket in particular, I was delighted when Sree came up with that performance.
And my delight doubled naturally because hes from my home state. Ask any Banglorean they would be proud of Kumble or Dravid.
Sree has not attained half of what they have or even what Wasim Akram or Allan Donald. But he has oodles of talent to make it big. Shouldnt we taking pride in what he has achieved so far rather than point out faults of his ?

As for Manorama, I wish you would respond to my comments by saying if i was right or not when i stated those facts. Facts again, my dear Sir.

Kerala has not treated its sporting heroes well. Look at Shiney Wilson or Anju George or Beenamol. If Kerala had not supported them, why would they have to resort to Tamil Nadu. Also the late footballer VP Sathyan, who died in tragic circumstances moved to Chennai because of the lack of support he received in the state. IM Vijayan survives not because of the support Kerala gives, but also because of his sporting company.

And I can fully understand your frustrations when you pose questions like "Are you an astrologer whom the Sreesanth consults? ".

I repeat if you could give rebuttals to my points by FACTS, i would be more than willing to have a discussion. Else it would be pointless.

I rest my case.

2:49 PM  
Blogger DivS said...

Point Sir ! There was an article sometime back in cricinfo trying to explain Sreesanth's character by relating to the communist culture of Kerala - going through all ways !! I wonder how could anyone explain his arrogance with our own team mates ?! He is a kid in International cricket, but he has grown big into his twenties. He lost his common-sense being hit by the celebrity status - we can just can "poor little chap !"

1:48 PM  
Blogger Thulasi said...

poor lilil chap !

2:45 AM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Divs. Yes, I read the piece. Sitting at glass houses in Bombay and other cities, journalists will go to any extent. This was a perfect example. Relating Sreesanth to Kerala's Leftist culture was incredible. Sreesanth may not even know what is Communism. How can a they compare a person with such superstitions to a progressive state's ethos? Like our wonderful actor Tilakan tells Mohanlal in MT-written Panchagni, "This is journalism nowadays." Celebrity hang-overs can kill talented players. Kambli is the best example. Thanks for the comment.

3:32 AM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Hai Unni. Sorry for the delay. I was little busy with some little works. Let us not make it a ‘for’ and ‘against’ platform. Yet, you are contradicting yourself in every post. You are not bothered if Sreesanth sleeps around and throw tantrums even at Sachin Tendulkar as long as he performs. But, you are bothered when Ganguly goes around with Nagma. Why the double standards? It is a big contradiction. But I am bothered if Ganguly does it again with Nagma even while he is in great form. Simply because, I love him and look up to him as a role-model. Though I am not a fan or admirer of Sachin, I respect him for his character. The phenomenal success – no comparison to Sree please –never went to his head. Attitudes can kill a player. Vinod Kambli, even Achrekar said, is talented than Sachin. But the success went to his head and the feet were not on earth. You can make money, fame and whatever you want, but the character is bestowed upon you. Look at Azhar: incredibly talented, pure magician with bat, great fielder, led India decently. But history will judge, sadly, him as a match-fixer. Azhar’s fans can keep arguing that he is the best and they don’t care whether he fixed matches or not. But the reality is otherwise.
Another thing: Satyan, Vijayan and all footballers left Kerala because the game does not offer much money. Not because Kerala did not respect them. Will Sresanth leave Kerala? No, because money is flowing in cricket.


I repeat, I will be happy if he performs and behaves like a normal human being. Then, not just you, we will all feel proud of him. If he perishes in a pit called success, then Kerala will have absolutely no regrets or worries. Because, we have a thousand other reasons to celebrate.

3:57 AM  
Blogger rahul said...

i agree wth u vilakudy.

end of th day, its all about
perfomance, if he performs well
thts good for him.as 'malayalee'
,evrybody(i'll also)'ll be proud 'bot him!. but, the main thing i would like to say is..right now, we may not waste so much time and space on this littl chap when it's time to prove whethr he'll stay or not..

sachin, ganguly, all these r not one 'series' wonders!

and 'bot kerala, kerala has always respectd true stars..sports or movies whatever..remember PT.Usha ..

miles to go my dear 'SREEKKUTTAN' and smiles to win!.we can pray tht like his superstions, his arrogance
and childishness also change in the long run...long live cricket..!

6:02 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

I took the example of Saurav since you took the moral grounds and for Godssake lets not compare Sree with Saurav or Sachin. Hes just started his career.

From what i read in this forum his crimes are
a) He sledged sehwag and sachin.
b) He ignored SK Nair
c) He changed his name.
d) Hes arrogant because...

Gurukant Desai in Guru says, if people say and write bad things about you, it means obviously you are doing something right.

Im no soothsayer and cannot predict what future has for Sree. But as of now, I will celebrate his success. I will not diss him because he sledged Sehwag or changed his name.

And as for the article on Sree and communists, it was written by a malayali Anil Nair on cricinfo.
I have read the article and I dont think the writer meant it the way you said.

Its here for your reference

http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/cricinfomagazine/content/story/248429.html

2:12 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

I am not comparing Sourav with Sree. How could I? You said that you are not bothered about Sree if he sleeps around. I did not say that. We all read the article written by Anil Nair and that is why we wrote the comments. Why are you sending the links? Here is a link for you from the same cricinfo which will show Sree's performance in the first one day.
http://content-ind.cricinfo.com/indvwi/engine/current/match/267706.html

Happy reading!

5:09 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

And here's his performance at Indore - 6/58

http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005-06/ENG_IN_IND/SCORECARDS/ENG_IND_ODI7_15APR2006.html

First Test in Nagpur 4/95

http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005-06/ENG_IN_IND/SCORECARDS/ENG_IND_T1_01-05MAR2006.html

Incidentally in his first ODI he took 2-39 in a batting track albeit of 6 overs - which I feel is not a bad debut, the match where Vaas got tonked for 67 off 9 and Pathan 34 off 5.

this of course is special 8/99 in Jo'burg

http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/rsavind/engine/match/249215.html

3:23 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Why are you shying away from facts? I send you a link about Sree's first one-day performance. You were left wordless. You are sending some links which don't have any relevace. The first one-day performance came after you claimed that he is the best bowler we have now. Another thing: The best bowler in the country is not even sure of making into the team for the second one-dayer. Read the rediff artilce: http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2007/jan/23wilead01.htm

The management will decide between Sharma and Sreesanth. He is our best bowler!!!!! Any links to counter this!

2:35 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

My dear Vilu - Please read my post carefully

"Incidentally in his first ODI he took 2-39 in a batting track albeit of 6 overs - which I feel is not a bad debut, the match where Vaas got tonked for 67 off 9 and Pathan 34 off 5."

Yes hes not there for the next ODI . This ongoing series is meant to be one where the possibles for World cup will be tried out - all possible comibinations will be tried out. Joginder Sharma did well in the domestic compeitions. Let him prove himself against Gayle and co. Sree has been there for more than a year

Also you dont judge a bowler on the basis of just one ODI. Sree has been doing well in tests in India AND abroad. Thats the reason why i put in those "irreleavnt" links you mentioned

I find it both amusing and disappointing that you are trying your best to bring down Sree. Its not fair Vilu. You seem rubbing your hands in glee when hes hit a trough.

2:37 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Vow. Great for taking an anticipatory bail. He was dropped and you call it experimenation. A man who has not played the previous one-day series, and just had a game in the series, has been rested! And you call him the best bowler in India. You can console yourself man. "I find it both amusing and disappointing that you are trying your best to praise him just because he is from Kerala. And its not fair Unni." If he gets clobbered for 79 runs, then accept that he was bowling badly. I appreciated him on his feat at Johburg and the peach of a delivery which left Lara gasping. But you are so blind in the admiration for a Keralite that you never point out his mistakes. You are a bundle of contradictions. Another one: You are telling not to judge Sree from just a one-day performance. That is what I told you after Sree's performacne in that Test. You can't praise him by a single performance. Youn judghed him after that Test. Now you are telling me not to judge him by just one match. Please don't contradict yourself. This is the nth time you are dong this. The biggest joke : Sree is out of the second match becuase of experimentation? Chappel's justifications are better convincing!!!

3:53 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

My dear Vilu - Please ber in mind that this is an experimental series before the world cup trying to find the best combination befoe the world cup

Sehwag and Pathan are left out. Does that mean that the World Cup is not for them.? Sure they will be. Similarly Kumble is not? Does it mean he will be left out? Joginder Sharma who played today is in? Will he get a chance? Highly unlikely. And we didnt even mention Raina/Mongia/Kaif and Yuvraj.

Yeah he was clobbered for 79 runs. So what. Poor Srinath got clobeered for 87 of 10 in the world cup final. Zaheer for 67 of 7.

Anybody who follows serious cricket will tell you that the Tests are a yardstick for a QUALITY bowler. Sree is a quality bowler and he has proved time and again in tests in Windies/South Africa. And we did something which no Indian team did for 20 long years. Win a series outside the subcontinent thanks to a good contribution from Sree also in bowling removing Lara and Gayle who are arguably the best batsmen in Windies.

And, FYI, he did well in ODI's both in India vs Lanka and England and Pakistan. Please check up his stats in Cricinfo, Vilu.

Let me ask you, Why is that Ajit Agarkar who was touted as the next kapil Dev does not even find a place in our Test Team despite being a good ODI bowler and being around for donkey's ears? Or as you would say "Its Chappel Bah" argument. Dinesh Kartik is in the team. Again experimentation. If we win the next match and seal the series, some players will be rested. Thats also experimentation.

Im not judging Sree by 1 series or 1 match. He did well in Tests in India/Windies/South Africa. Im not prasing him for that delivery which got Lara out or the victory in Jo'berg. Im praising for his CONSISTENCY in test matches.
He's been a very good bowler for India outside India in Tests.

Next arguments Vilu :-)

2:30 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

YES here you are: Saying Test cricket is everything, not one-day cricket. Had he been clobbered in a Test match and had had a hat-trick in one-day series, you would have argued otherwise. You change according to the sitaution. Still you don't admit he has been left out because of his por bowling. Being rested is different from being dropped. Sehwag and Pathan have been dropped and asked to go back and work on basics by none other than the Colonel. And Sree was dropped the team management never said that he had been rested to make way for someone. Nobody even bothered to find out what happened to Sreesanth. Even Sreekanth on CNN-IBN said Suresh Raina should not have been dropped. No media, no experts, no commentators utter a word about himm being dropped. Nobody was bothered. Maybe, someone like you. In the scheme of things in the one-day team, his presence or absence will not even make a difference. If Pathan comes back, sure he will after yesterday's performance, I am sure Sree will not be in the Playing Eleven. Then you can send me some statistics saying how Kapil Dev once did not find a place in the Playing Eleven. He will be lucky if he finds a name in the World Cup caravan. Maybe, he can change his name once again to try the luck. Anyway, we will see. Let him perform.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu - I never said Test cricket was everything. I only mentioned that Test cricket is the true TEST of a fast bowler. Ask any cricket expert (not the types who say i want sachin to hit a sixer for india) and they would tell you that Test cricket is the REAL cricket and ODI and the recent gimmick called 20-20 are just fast food type cricket.

Sree has played 23 ODI's and he has taken 30 wickets and even one 6 wicket haul. Inference: He definitely is a good bowler in ODI's also as he has taken about 1.3 wickets per match but he leaks runs (average 35.86). And ODI cricket is all about containment Vilu which is why even though he has wickets he was dropped (temporarily). So was Joginder Singh after 1 match and RP without playing any.

Consider the scenario of the world cup being played in Windies where the pitches would most likely be slow and low. if Pathan regains his mojo, he will be in because hes a much better batsman also than Sree whose batting average is a paltry 3. Obviously its the World cup and you have to play the
best possible X1.

Sree will defintely part of the team to travel to the Carribean.

And Vilu - please be objective rather than coming up with petty comments like "Then you can send me some statistics saying how Kapil Dev once did not find a place in the Playing Eleven. He will be lucky if he finds a name in the World Cup caravan. Maybe, he can change his name once again to try the luck"

Surely you can do better than this :-)

2:36 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Here you are. You slowly started realising that Sree may not find place in the Final 11. That is a big drop from your earlier only-Sree attitude. Now you are saying Pathan may find place because of his batting. What does that mean? If you are such a great bowler and the best in India, you don't have to worry about batting and fielding. Your confidence on the Keralite has started receding. That is a good sign man. Then my talks about being petty. You don't want me to write petty things and be objective. But you don't have any objections to Sree doing "petty things" like changing names. That is not petty for you. But if someone talks about such petty behaviour, it is petty for you. I really pity both Sree and you. The sudden lack of confidence in less than two weeks for you in Sree is amazing. What a volte-face? I was telling you all this along. I repeat: Let him perform and behave properly. I don't have any problem in admitting that he is a great bowler THEN.

7:11 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu my dear - where did i say Sree was the best. I was appreciating his performance instead of disparaging him for sledging or changing his name.

Vilu - In your book cricketers may be judged by their moral values. In MY book, I judge them by their performances. Mcgrath is my hero inspite of that infamous tiff with Sarwan and sledging almost every batsmen in the planet. Warne is my hero for fooling every batsmen (barring a few) despite sleeping with n number of women and innumerous text messages.

My yardstick Vilu is performance not any other thing. And i belive for most people in the world its that way - david Beckham is worshipped by many despite having an affir with Rebecca Loos. Maradona is worshipped despite being a heroin addict. People look to these people as sporting heroes. Nobody judges them on their moral values.

I havent done any U turn as you mentioned. What i observe is you find it hard to justify your arguments based on facts and stats rather than picking on him for all the other points you have so vociferously opposed.

And Vilu, my Sree is back in the team for the Chennai match. :-)

2:13 PM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu my dear - where did i say Sree was the best. I was appreciating his performance instead of disparaging him for sledging or changing his name.

Vilu - In your book cricketers may be judged by their moral values. In MY book, I judge them by their performances. Mcgrath is my hero inspite of that infamous tiff with Sarwan and sledging almost every batsmen in the planet. Warne is my hero for fooling every batsmen (barring a few) despite sleeping with n number of women and innumerous text messages.

My yardstick Vilu is performance not any other thing. And i belive for most people in the world its that way - david Beckham is worshipped by many despite having an affir with Rebecca Loos. Maradona is worshipped despite being a heroin addict. People look to these people as sporting heroes. Nobody judges them on their moral values.

I havent done any U turn as you mentioned. What i observe is you find it hard to justify your arguments based on facts and stats rather than picking on him for all the other points you have so vociferously opposed.

And Vilu, my Sree is back in the team for the Chennai match. :-)

2:14 PM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu my dear - where did i say Sree was the best. I was appreciating his performance instead of disparaging him for sledging or changing his name.

Vilu - In your book cricketers may be judged by their moral values. In MY book, I judge them by their performances. Mcgrath is my hero inspite of that infamous tiff with Sarwan and sledging almost every batsmen in the planet. Warne is my hero for fooling every batsmen (barring a few) despite sleeping with n number of women and innumerous text messages.

My yardstick Vilu is performance not any other thing. And i belive for most people in the world its that way - david Beckham is worshipped by many despite having an affir with Rebecca Loos. Maradona is worshipped despite being a heroin addict. People look to these people as sporting heroes. Nobody judges them on their moral values.

I havent done any U turn as you mentioned. What i observe is you find it hard to justify your arguments based on facts and stats rather than picking on him for all the other points you have so vociferously opposed.

And Vilu, my Sree is back in the team for the Chennai match. :-)

2:18 PM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu my dear - where did i say Sree was the best. I was appreciating his performance instead of disparaging him for sledging or changing his name.

Vilu - In your book cricketers may be judged by their moral values. In MY book, I judge them by their performances. Mcgrath is my hero inspite of that infamous tiff with Sarwan and sledging almost every batsmen in the planet. Warne is my hero for fooling every batsmen (barring a few) despite sleeping with n number of women and innumerous text messages.

My yardstick Vilu is performance not any other thing. And i belive for most people in the world its that way - david Beckham is worshipped by many despite having an affir with Rebecca Loos. Maradona is worshipped despite being a heroin addict. People look to these people as sporting heroes. Nobody judges them on their moral values.

I havent done any U turn as you mentioned. What i observe is you find it hard to justify your arguments based on facts and stats rather than picking on him for all the other points you have so vociferously opposed.

And Vilu, my Sree is back in the team for the Chennai match. :-)

2:19 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Yes your Vilu is back in Chennai match. Should I write anything about that match? I feel sorry.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Kannan said...

guys stop being childish, grow up for heaven's sake. puuuuhhhhleeees

9:15 AM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

I have to listen to someone. I listen to you Mr Kannan. See you at the next post.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu - Long time no hear. You would have expected to hear from me today, dont you?

Well Sree did make it to the World Cup 15. Isnt that an achievement Vilu? That calls for some celebration. The first malayali to represent India in a cricket world cup. Magnificient

About the Indian team's fortunes - well thats a totally different matter :-)

6:07 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Yes. Long time. Sree did not make it, but scraped through. It was a very close call between him and Ramesh Powar. He will travel to the West Indies and pocket some money. He is not a surety in the Final XI. Even tomorrow's match he is not sure. Are we talking about "the country's best bowler"? A perfect Caribbean sightseeing on our money? Great.

2:21 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Greg on Sree - source cricinfo
*******************************
Sreesanth seems to be a different bowler in Tests and in ODIs.

Greg: Nothing is a failure. Nothing that is tried, based on sound cricket logic, is a failure. I don't think there's anything we've tried ... something like 32 players who've played ODIs in the last 18 months .. Everybody was given a chance for the right reasons, everyone was left out for the right reasons

Look at someone like Brett Lee. He was out of the Australian ODI team for two years. What succeeds in Tests doesn't succeed in ODIs. Some bowlers do well in both. Stuart Clark's probably been the best fast bowler in international cricket for the last year but he can't make the Australian team for the World Cup. Sree is still developing - 22 or 23 years of age, 8-10 Tests, 20 or so ODIs, he's still a young bowler, still developing. I think the advance he's made in the last 12 months is exceptional. He will be a good ODI bowler as he will be a good Test match bowler. I am not convinced that he won't play an important role for us in the World Cup. He's learning the adjustment between Tests and ODIs. His personality probably suits Tests more than one-day cricket but his ability can suit both. He's just got to compartmentalise the thinking between Tests and one-dayers and he'll be a fine one-day bowler and, barring accidents, will be around for sometime. I'm most pleased with his development as a person, personality and a bowler.

For someone who's come from a lesser cricket area, with very little cricket history, help from mentors who could tell him about international cricket, he's done splendid. We've tipped him off at the deep end and sometimes had to pull him out with a rope and throw him back again. And throw him back in again. He's coped with it remarkably well. For a young man to go through what he's gone through, it's exceptional. Do him a favour and don't hammer him too much. The kid's exceptional. He's been subjected to an enormous amount by the media. We've demanded and expected a lot of him and most of the time he's come through. Occasionally he's fallen over but he's shown great resilience and character. There have been a lot of people that have been exposed with as little to work with as Sree and most have failed. This kid is a success story and needs to be spoken of in those terms.

His over-enthusiasm?

Greg: That's one of his plusses. It's much easier to pull someone back than push someone forward. If someone's not got the outgoing personality and temperament, they couldn't deal with what he's been through. He's fallen down a few times and there's been a few times when he's had to stay down. Tell him he's been fantastic, point out that he's taken considerable steps forward. To take two steps back every now and then is not a bad thing, because he's already taken ten steps forward. Again I look at people like Craig McDermott. He came in as a young, raw fast bowler. People like Merv Hughes - who wasn't so young but definitely raw. And they didn't do in their first ten Tests as much as what Sree's done. I'd rather have a volatile temperament that you can damp down than someone you can't motivate. The thing about Sree is that he's got vision, what the future looks like.

We left him out of the Champions Trophy - because he needed to be left out of the Champions Trophy. It would have done him more damage to have pushed him on in that environment. He needed to learn and understand a few lessons and go away and take them on board. It wasn't going to be easy for him to take them on board if he was part of the team, thinking that I should be playing. I've had to learn that when a young fellow gets dropped, his whole family is dropped. The pressure on him is enormous. Pressure from family, friends, state ... everyone's expecting so much of them. The information they're getting, the advice isn't the best they're getting. We've had to tell some guys a few home truths which they needed to hear, even though they didn't enjoy it. Sree didn't like hearing them but in his case, every time he's gone back, he's come back a better cricketer. He will have more setbacks before he becomes a finished article. Even as a finished article, he will have setbacks. Cricket's a game of failure. It's probably the hardest game of all. It's so tough on the mind. Golf is the only game that comes close because of the mental torment it brings with it. But even in golf - first hole you bogie, go and sit on the sidelines and don't take part in the tournament. That's what happens to a cricketer. The first mistake he makes is often the last. Then he's got to go and watch everyone else play. How hard is that?

Sree comes from a Plate team. There was one first-class game he played before he played for India where he had 12 catches dropped. Now how many people have to go through that to get into the international team? I don't think there's one bowler in the history of Australian cricket who would have had to go through something like that. Twelve catches in an innings, maybe all in a day. How many opportunities can you create? Selectors can look at the wickets column and see he's not picking but he creates opportunities. When he came into the Mumbai Test (his first series) he had some catches dropped off him. Flintoff was let off twice. We were talking about it and he said, 'I expect to have catches dropped off me when I play for Kerala but didn't expect this when I played for India.' And it was a casual comment, not as if he's blaming his team or anything. Wide-eyed genuine chap.

Honest and Sincere comments coming from a cricketer from a country which was ruling the world of cricket until now

9:22 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Chappel. Honest and sincere? Please don't take our argument to another level. Any day, I prefer Sree to that old....... Let us stop the arguments. The whole India knows about Greg's sincerity and honestness. Words are big, especially "honest and sincere". Please don't insult such big words to describe such a...........

3:28 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu - The point is not about Chappel's integrity of honesty - its abt Sree. Whether you like Chappel or not is immaterial - what he told abt Sree is absolutely true. He has come through a lot. In our state, where facilities werent really good, with our team in the Plate League, he did make it in a big way. And in the last two ODI's vs Lanka, he showed his talent and his selection in the team for the World cup is justified

1:44 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

0/31, 1/79, 1/67, 1/36 2/39 AND 1/46. That is his performance in the last five one-dayers. Great you are saying his last two performances are great and thereby justified his talent. If you think that is great, then there are no arguments. Anyway, benches are ready for him in the West Indies. Let us stop it.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu - By what yardstick is 6 wickets in 6 matches a poor performance and that too in flat subcontinet pitches

As for bench haha..first you said he wouldnt make it to the World Cup team. He did and am sure if he would get a match at least to play.

Vilu - He is the first ever malayali to play for a Cricket World Cup since it started 32 years ago. Isnt it an achievement. 1 Malayali from 3 crore people. Even states like Orissa had got representation in World Cup long back. Celebrate it Vilu. Dont sulk.

2:19 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

Why don't you stop it mashe? Please. I said I can't argue with a blind fan. My blog article was COMPLETELY on whether Sree was a popular figure in Kerala. Irrespective of his performance.(Please read the blog again). I stick to my stand: he is no way popular. Some people like you can keep celebrate when batsmen like Jayasuriya clobbers him! I don't care, or most Keralites don't, if he performs or perishes. As far as India is winning.
Please stop it. H e is no where popularity chart. Bye

1:44 AM  
Blogger Unni said...

Vilu - Im sorry for being so stubborn. I was providing rebuttals for your arguments. Nothing more. Nothing Less. I am not a blind fan of anyone Vilu. FYI, I had posters of 2 sporting people ever in my life - one was Vinod Kambli when he was scoring double centuries with the ease of plucking flowers. The other was Anna Kournikova. Both got removed after a period of time.

I am not a die-hard fan of Sree, Vilu. I cringe as many others do, when Jaya clobbers him over square leg and midwicket. But what I like in him is his fighting spirit. He comes back on the batsman. He is just 1 year into his career Vilu. Give him some time. He will perform well for India. (Not that hes doing any bad now). Hes one of the precious talents to wtach out for. The only concern is that he doesnt suffer a burn-out like Pathan did

1:21 PM  
Blogger vilakudy said...

It is ok. There is nothing personal about it. I am glad to know that you loved Kambli. He was my favourite cricketer. I cried when he was dropped after the 96 World Cup despite having played well. I still can't forget that morning when I read that report in Mathrubhumi. But still have his poster with a headband stuck on my wall in my Vilakudy house. I still love him. Then, I did not like Dada. But slowly I became an admirer of Ganguly. Of course Lara has always been my favourite.
Thanks for the chats. See you on the next topic.Bye

2:06 AM  
Blogger Rahul S. Nair said...

Aliya MAchu....
Nee indian teaminte dressing room vare keri alle....
Oru malayali nannavunnathu vere oruthanu kaaanaan pattilla alle...

Its only because of exceessive Media hype
(manorama) that people spite him....

Aggression on field is important... If the aussies can do it then why not us...
Sreesanth as a player is very smart and we should appreciate the player rather than the person that people make out of him...

Mohanlal has many a bad tale going on around him, but still we all love him for his histrionics...

10:59 AM  
Blogger vEENs said...

Oh! I didn't know these many facts! But ain't it true, that generally Keralites abash people who show that they are ambitious.

Same is the case with Prithviraj. OK I am not a great fan of the guy, but isin't it true that his arrogance and ambition to become the next superstar puts us all off. How did he dare think like that when they types of MohanLal and Mamooty are still around? I heard one of my cousins say -"He[Raj] is very arrogant and if you talk to him, he is *ahamgari*"
When I asked him , why he thought so, he just shrugged his shoulder.
The point is it is the word of the mouth that propagates.
Ho many of us can come close to the Bollywood film personalities? without been tacled by the bodyguards?


You are right in pointing all the misgivings but I am equally glad that you did bring out his good points.
He is a young lad, and I am sure with time and experience he will mellow down and become mature.

Well I am proud that a Mallu guy is in the team and is doing pretty well.. and I abide by the superstition that in any match if Pathan takes the first wicket, we have fair chances of winning.

Good post!!
Blog Rolling you.

Cheerzz!
Veens

1:35 AM  
Blogger Sampaadak said...

Well this article's premise is now justified. Sreesanth just does not know when to stop assing around. He got the eight wicket in the 20-20 match against Mumbai, walked over to the other side of the crease and gave the close walk/talk to the player that got out. He did that a couple of times to Robin Uthappa too before that. After the end of the game, Harbhajan slapped him in the field. Even though it is Harbhajan whose career will be over now, it is Sreesanth who has had the last laugh(or cry) by making sure that everybody knew what Harbhajan did. His revenge against Harbhajan is now complete.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Gireesh said...

I fully agree with you vilu.
Vilu has written about the impression of Mr.Sreesanth in Kerala.
By seeing comment from UNNI, I remember Sreesanth's brother in-law Mr. Unni Balakrishnan.
(who is a playback singer.)
Dear Unni,
wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
health is lost, something is lost;
&
charector is lost, Everything lost.
Please consider these....

11:34 AM  
Blogger Manu said...

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11:02 PM  

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