Don’t get verbal, MSD tells Sree

Jan. 1: Shanthakumaran Sreesanth’s jaffa to get rid of Jacques Kallis in the second Test at Kinsgmead was equivalent, if not better, to Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s bowled dismissal of West Indies opener Gordon Greenidge, the latter shouldering arms in the 1983 World Cup final.

The length was just short of length, but ferociously pounced on Kallis, who in a bid to avoid imminent damage to his skull, gloved it to gully. The missile forced Kallis off for a precautionary X-ray. “We call them throat balls,” says Peter Pollock, South Africa’s tearway fast bowler for South Africa in 1960’s. “It’s one of the few wicket-taking balls that have now become almost extinct.”

Despite the snorter and the lethal bowling performance in the previous Test, it’s not his ability with the ball that is being talked about as India take on South Africa in the third Test, but his inability to keep his mouth shut. “I have told him that if ‘you take seven minutes for an over, it will be difficult for anyone to let you play,” said Dhoni.

On Saturday, he chose to admonish him for sledging Graeme Smith in the second Test, which Dhoni admitted had got personal. “It’s quite difficult to control Sreesanth. Hopefully, he will be on the right side this time, and if he’s supposed to say something, say something that’s not very personal and to the point.”

The list of Sreesanth’s misdemeanours is getting bigger by the day. Last winter, he had been issued a ‘final warning’ by the BCCI after being fined 60% of his match fee for using offensive language towards a player during the Irani Cup match against Mumbai.

“Sree looks a whole different bowler when he cuts out the gratuitous theatrics and turns his focus inwards, on his craft. Somebody needs to tell this guy to keep his emotions in check,” said Pollock.

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