Sreesanth antics fine if it works, says Anand

Mumbai: Indian paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth is regularly in the firing line for his hot-headed approach to cricket but a countryman who is already a world champion has advised him against dousing that fire in his belly.

Viswanathan Anand is the polar opposite to Sreesanth who proved the one weak link in India`s opening Cricket World Cup win over Bangladesh on Saturday with some extremely aggressive but wildly erratic bowling.

Whereas Sreesanth`s emotions are there for all to see, the cool, calm and collected 41-year-old Anand is a master at keeping his in check. But then world chess champions in general are hardly noted for wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

Anand in his sport is master, literally, of all he surveys, with world championships in all formats and time controls.

"I wouldn`t tell him anything," Anand told reporters in an interview, appropriately enough in a museum where you could hear a pin drop. Just the kind of atmosphere that Anand thrives in.

There was no one formula to success, Anand believes.

"I do what works for me. I guess he does what works for him. I don`t think there is one single formula that you follow," Anand explained.

"I think you have to know yourself well and find what works for you."

"If you like kicking a rope then go for it. If it works for you then no one can argue with that."

Anand was referring to the incident when the temperamental pace bowler was fined 10 percent of his match fee for kicking the boundary rope after he had two lbw appeals turned down in the same over during a test match against South Africa.

Anand denied he was never ruffled personally and said it was all about venting the tension through a proper channel.

"I mean I don`t demonstrate it all the time. Let`s say verbally or through my expressions but when I want to beat somebody I really want to beat him, boss," Anand said, stressing the second part of his answer.

"But I try to channel it through my chess and I don`t show it because I don`t find that it helps me particularly to dissipate energy like that."

"But other people... (Gary) Kasparov was a good example. He always liked to make faces and huff and puff. That`s how he dealt with his tension."

"I don`t think there is any individual style and probably we have each cricketer doing it in his own way."

Like the majority of his one billion population country, Anand will be following the fortunes of the national team closely.

"I watched the India-Bangladesh match and our batting was superb. I will follow and watch some of the good matches for sure," he said.

"The problem with this World Cup is that there are a lot of non-matches as well. On average we have one good match a week."

Critics have been divided over whether the Indian cricket team, one of the favourites to win the World Cup, will succumb to pressure while playing in front of their home crowd.

"It is important in a big event to get into your zone," advised the chess champion. "You shouldn`t be reading the press too much. You shouldn`t be interacting with too many people."

"You should really immerse yourself in your job and get on with it. That`s how I do it."

"I guess the cricketers have their own formula. But I think our team is experienced enough so they have their own cures."

The grandmaster was in Mumbai to promote the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), a non-profit organisation which identifies and supports athletes to win gold for India in Olympics.

Bureau Report

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