‘He should play’ – S Sreesanth reveals how Sachin Tendulkar helped him to play the 2011 World Cup final
Sreesanth was India's most expensive bowler on the day and he couldn't pick up a wicket either.
Updated - May 12, 2020 4:44 pm
S Sreesanth may not be a part of the current Indian setup after his career went into the doldrums following the spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the tainted Indian fast bowler, was a part of the national team in two of their historic matches- the 2007 T20 World Cup final at the Wanderers and the 2011 50-over World Cup final in India.
The pacer wasn’t a part of the squad initially and was called up after Praveen Kumar’s injury. The veteran said that Sachin Tendulkar played a big role in him playing in the crunch game at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Sreesanth mentioned that the Master Blaster suggested head coach Gary Kirsten to include him after which MS Dhoni drafted him into the eleven.
I remember Harbhajan calling me at night: S Sreesanth
“April 2, 2011 was the day and I thank Sachinpaaji for taking me to Coach Gary Kirsten and telling him that ‘Sreesanth should play’ (in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka) and thanks to Dhonibhai for giving me that opportunity,” Sreesanth was quoted as saying in an interview with rediff.com.
He also thanked Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh for lending their support ahead of the crucial game. “Virubhai (Virender Sehwag), Yuvraj, Bhajjipa (Harbhajan Singh), everyone supported my inclusion,” he stated.
“I remember Bhajjipa calling me the night before the final and saying ‘Shantha, tu khel raha hai kal, so jaa abhi’ (you are playing in the final tomorrow, so better sleep now),” Sreesanth added.
However, Sreesanth didn’t have the best of outings as he was India’s most expensive bowler on the day. In his eight overs, the seamer gave away 52 runs and couldn’t make a breakthrough. He also sent down a couple of no-balls in the process and was hit for eight fours.
Prior to that game, he played in India’s opening match against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Though the Men in Blue won the match by 87 runs, Sreesanth had an off day. He bowled only five overs and leaked 53 runs at a dismal economy rate of 10.60.