The more I see of Sreesanth, the more a character he appears to me. Towards the end of the days play, South Africa at a good 139 for 1, Sreesanth bowling to a well set Amla. Our hero starts his run-up from — guess where — Somewhere near long off. Running topsy-turvy, parabola like, as he approaches the crease, he’s completely behind the umpire and then finally comes out with a, another guess what — slower delivery. So he is trying everything legitimate to knock off the concentration of batsman. Reminds me of this historic test match when Gillespie bowled to Laxman (or was it Dravid?) with his arms flapping like a bird.
Except that, in both cases, the batsmen didn’t oblige.
And Muralitharan. Look at his face while he bowls — his eyes are not only focussed at the point where he intends to pitch the ball at, but almost popping out with his mouth wide open. Goosebumps guaranteed. Oh and that peculiar chinaman from South Africa, Paul Adams. After a bit (?) of twisting and turning while he bowls, at the point of delivery — his eyes are in the sky(!) . He’s taken more than a 100 test wickets like that. Without even looking at the batsman.
Sreesanth could have taken a cue or two from Andre Nel, his South African counterpart of sorts. Both are good bowlers but have a long way to go. Nel, by now, must be knowing the names of all the ICC Match refrees at the back of his hand. And yet he gets away with it.
How could you justify these antics then? More often than not, these are unsuccessful attempts by desperate bowlers. I think the answer lies somewhere in the fact that, over the last decade or so, cricket has turned out to be more of a batsmans game and bowlers need to do something different. Though things like these have added to the amusement of the spectators, I doubt if it has done any good to the bowlers.