Friday, November 27, 2009

Dhoni - Sreesanth controlled his emotions

cricket score news

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes a well-behaved Shanthakumaran Sreesanth augurs well for the side.

The temperamental fast bowler marked a spectacular return to the international game after a break of over 18 months by claiming six wickets in India's crushing victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test at Kanpur.

Sreesanth's five for 75 in the first innings - only his second five-wicket haul in Tests - had helped India enforce the follow-on and eventually secure victory by an innings and 144 runs inside four days.

It was India's 100th victory in Test cricket and Dhoni credited Sreesanth for his part in the success.

"I don't think anybody expected a seamer to run away with a five-wicket haul but he did," Dhoni said.

"He bowled really well, came steaming in and consistently hit good areas.

"More importantly he controlled his emotions and he has definitely cut down on his antics.

"He was aggressive, but in a different way and that is good for him and the team," he said.

Man of the match Sreesanth last played a Test in April last year when injury forced him out of contention.

In the period in between, he had made headlines for his erratic behaviour off the field, but he was handed a lifeline when he was surprisingly picked for the Test team.

Dhoni said Sreesanth, who was drafted in for the second Test at the expense of Ishant Sharma, had been an automatic choice.

"Before the start of this match we knew we would have reverse swing at this ground and Sreesanth along with Zaheer Khan are the best swing bowlers we have got," Dhoni said.

"He was bowling well in the nets as well," he said.

Dhoni also credited his batsmen for the victory after recording a mammoth first-innings total of 642 and believes Sri Lanka will have to battle hard to draw the series.

"It was a good toss to win and the surface was at its best on the first day," Dhoni said.

"You always want to put on a big score and that is what we did. Then we needed early wickets and the seamers provided the breakthroughs.

"Pragyan Ojha too bowled excellently, kept it tight and picked up wickets when he could.

"He had a very good debut. I think we are playing to potential, everyone is playing their role to perfection and we are clicking in every department.

"It was important to get momentum going into the final match in Mumbai.

"The wicket there is bound to be different and usually there is a bit for the seamers and the spinners because of the soil used, so it's going to be interesting."

Sri Lanka's captain Kumar Sangakkara believes his team still have plenty to play for.

"We can still draw the series and there is great motivation for us," he said.

"Obviously we are disappointed, but you have to take responsibility and move ahead."

Sangakkara's bowlers have struggled on this tour and their attacking talisman Muttiah Muralitharan's performance has been particularly shabby.

In the two matches, he has managed only five wickets at an average of 79.20.

"It does bother us when our star bowler does not pick too many wickets when we know he can," Sangakkara said.

"But he still is our best bowler and we have got to back him 100% because he is going to do that at some point.

"Hopefully, it will be in the next game."