Unrepentant Sree says he was retaliating to Smith taunt

Cape Town: An unrepentant India paceman S Sreesanth on Monday said he did not get personal with Graeme Smith in the second Test in Durban and he was simply retaliating to the South African captain`s taunt that he was not a good bowler.

Smith had said that Sreesanth had got personal with him in a spat during the second Test while Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also admitted that his pacer could have done that.

At the post-match conference after the first day`s play today, Sreesanth remained unapologetic and sarcastically thanked Smith for "woking him up".

"I love Cape Town and the crowd in South Africa. (Graeme) Smith woke me up, thanks to him. I was a bit asleep in the series. He said to me that I wasn`t good enough and I thought I was good enough to get him out and that`s what happened," Sreesanth said.

"Very honestly it`s giving your best and playing with passion. I love this game and want to give my best in everything you do," he said.

India managed to get just four South African wickets at the exepens of 232 runs on the first day today, but Sreesanth said the game is still open.

"We should get a couple of breakthroughs with the new ball. Game is still on. We have to stick to our basics.In any form of cricket patience is the key," he said.

Sreesanth said the two rain breaks resulted to loss of momentum for India but said his side was happy with their performance today.

"There were a lot of breaks. That doesn`t help cricket. The momentum was shifting here and there. We`re very happy with the way things are going. There are six wickets and three more innings left. Cape Town is known for runs. Hopefully we`ll have to bat just once and then bowl them out. Let`s see how long they can survive," he said.

Asked about his own performance today, he said, "Most of the spells I don`t really rate. I always run in hard and give it my very best. Sometimes you get into good rhythm and sometimes you don`t. The best I bowled was in Kingsmead on the fourth day. There is not much pace but if you hit the right target there is a bit in the wicket.

"Zak bhai (Zaheer Khan) and Ishant Sharma are bowling really well. All I have to do is cut down the boundary balls, not give runs and help them. It was helpful conditions and if I could I would take this atmosphere all around. In my first over I was a bit lazy but I improved. They`re leaving the ball really well," said Sreesanth.

On getting Amla`s wicket, Sreesanth said, "Even when he hit the six I was happy that he played the ball rather than left it alone. Today I was not going flat out and trying to hit 145. I was bowling 118-130 and trying to hit the right areas. That`s what Zak bhai told me. Maybe Amla was a bit overconfident. That`s good for us."


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