Five-wkt Sreesanth buoyed by Donald~~s words

Published: Sunday, December 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg:Shantakumaran Sreesanth said former opposition pace great Allan Donald had helped inspire him to a maiden five-wicket haul in the first Test between South Africa and India today.

Fast bowler Sreesanth took five for 40 as India dismissed South Africa for just 84 in their first innings. India were 146 for five in their second innings at stumps on the second day, a lead of 311 runs.

Sreesanth said he had spoken to Donald, who took 330 Test wickets, before the match.

''He really helped me, and he told me to stick to the basics and not to try too hard,'' Sreesanth told a news conference.

''Our chat boosted me, because he is my dream bowler. Dennis Lillee is my idol, but I saw Donald bowl and I wanted to be like him.'' Sreesanth was confident India had a big enough lead to achieve what would be their first Test win in South Africa, but he would prefer the visitors to score more runs tomorrow.

''I think we have a decent target, but we need to score more runs because you never know what's going to happen in cricket,'' he said.

Shaun Pollock, who became the first South African to take 400 Test wickets on Saturday, did not attend the news conference because he was enjoying a well-earned ice bath.

But he relayed a comment via South African media liaison officer Gordon Templeton.

''I'm chuffed to have got the 400, and I'm hoping to get more wickets tomorrow to help South Africa win the Test,'' Templeton said Pollock had told him.

South African coach Mickey Arthur offered no excuses for his team's dismal batting performance.

''Today was a really poor day for us,'' Arthur told a news conference. ''We've had a heart-to-heart about it in the dressing room and the guys have taken responsibility for their performance, which was poor.

''India have outplayed us in all departments, but there's no way that we should have been bowled out for less than a hundred.

India made our batsmen play, which is something we didn't do.

Arthur said South Africa's steady diet of one-day cricket in recent months was also taking its toll.

''Our one-day side has a presence, they know the roles they are required to play and they are very comfortable with each other, he said. ''We're still trying to get there in our Test side.''


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