Back in the Indian World Cup squad due to injury to his pace colleague Praveen Kumar, Kerala speedster S Sreesanth today said he would look to do justice to the opportunity given to him.
“It is a great opportunity and a great challenge to be a part of Indian team for the World Cup. I am lucky to be a part of it and am looking forward to giving my best in the tournament,” Sreesanth told reporters.
“I am just looking forward to giving my best in the World Cup. I am absolutely fine with any role given to me. Whatever I would be asked to do I will perform accordingly.”
The 28-year-old right-arm pacer, who was not in the original 15-man Indian squad, said it was unfortunate that Praveen Kumar could not recover in time for the World Cup.
“I feel really bad for Praveen. It is unfortunate that injury keeps you out of the game. I hope he recovers fast.”
Praveen sustained an elbow injury before the ODI series in South Africa last month and failed to recuperate in time.
Speaking about his economy rate, which has always been a matter of worry, Sreesanth said he has improved immensely in the last two years.
“I was worried about that aspect of my game but in the last couple of years, whatever chances I have got I showed a lot of improvement. With age and experience you learn a lot. I am still learning and hopefully will do a good job,” he said.
Sreesanth also did not seem too bothered about the fact that the sub-continent pitches would have little to offer to the fast bowlers during the mega-event.
“There are no issues as far as sub-continent pitches are concerned. Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel have all played in World Cups before and have enough experience. We are ready to give our best. We are doing well and are number two in ODIs. Hopefully, by the end of the World Cup, we could be the number team in the world,” said Sreesanth.
Asked if cricket fans would see an old Sreesanth or a reformed one during the World Cup, the Kerala youngster said.
“I play cricket with passion. I just want to win games for the country. I really don’t plan whether I would dance after taking a wicket or not. I only plan my bowling and just try to win as many matches as possible for India.”
A lot of people criticised the national selectors for not including Sreesanth initially when the Indian squad was picked for the World Cup and former India captain Sourav Ganguly was one of most vocal ones.
When Sreesanth was asked about how he felt about the support he got from people like Ganguly, he said, “I am really thankful to Dada. He was one guy who told me to concentrate on my game and to remain focussed as he felt I could make it big in international cricket. Even Sachin paaji told me the same.
So it is a big thing and I always appreciate their words.”
Sreesanth, who composed a song to cheer the Indian team in the World Cup, said, “I was looking forward to cheer the team but now I am happy to be a part of it.”
Keywords: 2011 Cricket World Cup