Twitter in awe as Sreesanth makes rousing comeback to domestic cricket
Former Indian pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth made his much-anticipated return to competitive cricket in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The 37-year-old took just seven balls to bag his first wicket in seven-and-a-half years.
The Kerala bowler, who served a reduced seven-year life ban for his involvement in the 2013 Indian T20 League spot-fixing scandal, has returned with three wickets in two games and has set sights for a potential recall to the Indian cricket team.
Sreesanth’s ban ended in September 2020, and he was included in Kerala’s squad for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in December. The questions raised were mainly about the veteran fast bowler’s ability to recreate his trademark swing bowling that often made opposition batsmen sweat buckets at the crease.
Perhaps, the Puducherry-Kerala fixture answered these concerns in time as Sreesanth forced Fabid Ahmed to play forward but got the ball to beat the inside edge and hit the middle stump. It wasn’t the perfect in-swinger, but it did bring back the memories of a prime Sreesanth.
He took to Twitter to pour out his emotions, and it didn’t take long for cricket fans to quickly congratulate him for his never-say-die attitude.
Siddarth Kaul, one of the prominent bowling talents in the country, was one of the few big names to celebrate Sreesanth’s return.
The right-arm pacer finished with figures of 1/29 to cap an impressive performance in his first competitive game in years. His next game, against Mumbai, saw him produce one of his trademark aggression tactics. He attempted to sledge young Mumbai opener Yashasvi Jaiswal in the sixth over of the Kerala-Mumbai fixture.
The 19-year-old, unfazed by the taunts, slammed two sixes and a boundary in response to Sreesanth’s challenge.
After a wicket-less outing against Mumbai, Sreesanth returned to his usual best as he took the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Nitish Rana in Kerala’s six-wicket win over Delhi. While he dismissed Rana for 16 in the 12th over, the pacer got rid of a dangerous Dhawan in the 17th over after the southpaw’s 48-ball 77 helped Delhi post a mammoth score of 212/4 in their quota of 20 overs. Sreesanth had claimed the wicket of the India international with a full-toss delivery and was subsequently caught by Salman Nizar at the deep-mid wicket.
These performances have boosted Sreesanth’s morale for the remainder of the tournament, and cricket fans are eager to see the former India pacer continue his comeback journey in the sport with wickets and a title in the bag.
Feature Image courtesy: AFP / Prakash Singh