Dravid tells Sreesanth to follow Zaheer example

Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Nottingham:India captain Rahul Dravid said fiery fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth ought to learn from the example of team-mate Zaheer Khan if he didn't want to get into further trouble with cricket officials.

Sreesanth was fined 50 percent of his match fee during India's seven-wicket second Test win, completed at Trent Bridge here Tuesday, for shoulder barging England captain Michael Vaughan.

He also let loose a dangerous 'beamer' at England batsman Kevin Pietersen, for which he immediately raised his hand in apology, and bowled a bouncer at Paul Collingwood off a no-ball called after he'd overstepped the crease by several feet.

Khan, by contrast, largely kept his cool when India were in the field and the left-arm quick was rewarded with Test best figures of nine for 134 as his side went 1-0 up in the three-match series with just The Oval finale starting on August 9 to come.

"I think he has a great example in Zaheer Khan and, if he needs to learn from anyone, he just needs look at what Zaheer's done in this Test match for us," Dravid said of the 24-year-old Sreesanth after India had completed only their fifth win in 47 Tests in England spanning 75 years.

"He has had controlled aggression, Zaheer has been as aggressive as anyone else without going over the top and just sticking to performing and getting wickets," the India captain, in at the finish on 11 not out as his side reached their victory target of 73 for the loss of three wickets, added.

"Sree is a talented bowler, young and a bit excitable. He is going to learn along the way," Dravid also told reporters. "It's part of our responsibility to try to ensure he learns."

Asked if his fastest bowler's huge no-ball had been a mistake, Dravid replied: "He says it was one. Any issues like that we will deal with internally and he will be spoken to."

Vaughan said: "A beamer was bowled and he (Sreesanth) said it was an accident and we take his word for that. I guess more of a concern is a huge no-ball.

"I have spoken to Rahul this (Monday) morning. Sreesanth is young and a real good talent but I hope he didn't bowl a two foot over the line no-ball to try to intimidate the batsman because it's a tactic which could be used in most games and it's not what we want to see."

But there were aspects of England's conduct which were less than impressive as well.

When Khan came out to bat in India's first innings he found his crease littered with jelly beans and angrily waved his bat in the direction of England's slips when, having brushed the beans away, he found they had been replaced when he was about to take guard again after getting off the mark.

"It's an incident that has been blown out of proportion," said Vaughan.

"I guess one of the guys might have left one (jelly bean) by the crease just as a prank for the new batsman. If it offended Zaheer in any way we apologise for that."

He added: "It's not the reason why we've lost a game of cricket, because of some jelly beans."

For all the talk, particularly from England players this season, of how talk on the field can create an atmosphere where batsmen are intimidated, it was left to Dravid to put the issue into perspective by saying what mattered was how players played.

"What really shows mental strength for me is what Zaheer Khan has done with his performances, what our openers (who shared a first inning stand of 147) have done.

"That for me is mental strength, that for me is toughness. That is the kind of toughness I expect from my team."


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