Santhakumaran Sreesanth said he was enjoying his cricket more and focussing on the future than looking back at the past. The paceman battled against injuries and disciplinary issues - he was warned for his behaviour by the BCCI – before staging his comeback here.
Sreesanth admitted he never thought he would play for India again. "God has given me a big chance. This is a new beginning for me."
The paceman who last figured in a Test against South Africa here in 2008 said, "I am back in Kanpur. I would like to take this as a cycle, a point from where I can contribute more for my country."
He added he had become more realistic. "During the months I was away, I concentrated on things that I had to do. I set my own goals, and not the goals others set for you. I was not worrying about many things that I had been bothered about previously."
Sreesanth, who had a spat with Harbhajan Singh during IPL-I said, "I told Bhajji (Harbhajan) that I was looking forward to playing with him again. All my teammates have been extremely supportive."
The paceman conceded he had to work hard for his wickets here. Asked to compare his spell at the Green Park on Thursday with his match-winning effort against the South Africans at the Wanderers, he replied, "I had to work harder for getting my wickets here. The conditions in Johannesburg were much more helpful and I just had to land the ball in the right areas. But getting wickets on a slow track like the one at Kanpur was tough. I was determined to hit the stumps and make the batsmen play at every delivery although I might go for runs in the process. The Johannesburg effort is history and this is present."
Sreesanth was thankful to the Board for allowing him to play for Warwickshire in the English county championship. He said pace great Allan Donald was a huge help for him in England.
"He helped me become more professional and advised me to take things such as getting good sleep and eating the right food when you are a national player. He taught me about making sacrifices for the team and to put the team ahead of self. Deciding to play county cricket was the best decision that I have taken in my career. It wasn't easy bowling there in July and August, but my teammates and the support staff were highly helpful and encouraging."
Sreesanth said he had never attempted to hide his emotions. "Perhaps that's why I'm misunderstood so often. But I hope people would look at what I'm doing on the field and not off it."
He acknowledged the support of Zaheer Khan from the other end for his performance in this Test. Sreesanth said he would only celebrate after India won the Test.
Asked about the 26\11 terror attack in Mumbai, Sreesanth said, “Such an incident should never happen. My message is to love all and serve all.”