Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sreesanth gets lifeline he must grab

New Delhi: Selectors often get criticised for the choices they make. But in their jobs, having the instinct of a gambler is perhaps a must. Krishnamachari Srikkanth and his team have taken such a gamble in reinstating S Sreesanth to the national team. It's now upon the maverick to swim or sink.

Just a day before he was recalled to the national mix, Sreesanth was seeking divine intervention to revive a stuttering career, visiting a temple in Indore and virtually pleading with the gods for another chance at redemption.

"It feels great to be here," he said a day earlier. "When I last came here three years ago I received a surprise as I was picked for the tour of South Africa and ended up doing well. I have a special relationship with Indore and I hope to visit the temple here whenever I am in town."

A day later his prayers were answered and one could excuse his supporters for the indulgence. The sweets were well deserved. From the obscurity of the domestic circuit to a return to the arclights, S Sreesanth has been away for nearly 18 months. He now promises to come back a reformed man.

"I'll put my best effort and try not to repeat my mistakes and focus on my cricket. I want to start afresh, as a beginner," Sreesanth said.

With Sreesanth, many take his promised serenity with a bucket of salt. He is a man of extremes, never short of a word on the field, and sometimes a gesture that leaves you with an image for posterity. At other times Sreesanth has crossed the line; he is on a final warning from the BCCI to shape up or face the prospect of an early end to his career.

So what has prompted Sreesanth's recall despite a not so impressive return on the domestic circuit? Sources tell CNN-IBN that his ability to bowl tireless long spells and the gift of swinging the ball away at pace that tempted the selectors to take this punt. It's a lifeline Sreesanth simply has to grab.

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