Kochi: There is a thin line between aggression and antics.
The talent in Santhakumaran Sreesanth is beyond question, but the paceman continues to indulge in theatrics on the cricket field.
Sreesanth did himself little credit before his home crowd towards the end of the Australian innings here on Tuesday.
First, he got into a verbal duel with Brad Haddin.
Then, as non-striker Andrew Symonds walked down the pitch to have a word with his partner, Sreesanth picked the ball up, dislodged the bails, and appealed for a run-out verdict.
Despite the umpire ruling it as a dead ball, Sreesanth continued pleading and skipper M.S. Dhoni had to move swiftly to the bowler to coax him to bowl again.
Sreesanth’s on field behaviour made little sense.
“He (Sreesanth) has to realise that this is international cricket and there are people watching him,” said Dhoni the other night in Bangalore.
He added that at this level, he was not a school teacher and Sreesanth his pupil.
Perhaps there was some provocation from the Australians.
The men from down under do indulge in gamesmanship and sledging, still there was little excuse for Sreesanth’s exaggerated and provocative celebration when he, subsequently, had Symonds caught and bowled.
Sreesanth’s on-field behaviour was under scrutiny during the Test series in England and the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa.
He has had his match feesdocked, been spoken to by the umpires, but does not seem to have learnt his lesson.
He is so much the better paceman when his mind and body are in harmony.
Once Sreesanth loses his cool, he is not the same force as a bowler.