“Sree, win this match for me” - Sreesanth hails former Indian captain for backing his talent

Sreesanth celebrates a wicket during his famous performance in the Johannesburg Test. Pic: Getty Images
Sreesanth celebrates a wicket during his famous performance in the Johannesburg Test. Pic: Getty Images

Former India pacer S Sreesanth has praised his first international captain, Rahul Dravid, for showing faith in his ability and giving him confidence.

Sreesanth made his international debut against Sri Lanka in an ODI in Nagpur in October 2005. He gained fame through his match-winning spell against South Africa in Johannesburg in December 2006. It was also India’s first Test win in South Africa.

In a rapid fire with Sportskeeda, Sreesanth was asked to name the best captain he played under. While he picked MS Dhoni, the Kerala cricketer made a special mention of Dravid.

“Dhoni bhai is the best captain I played under because we won the World Cup (2007 and 2011). But a very special mention to Rahul Dravid - the first captain I played under and the guy who made me believe that I can win Test matches. I remember, in South Africa, just before the Johannesburg Test, he told me - ‘Sree, win this match for me’. That was very special to me,” Sreesanth fondly recalled.

Batting first in the Johannesburg Test, India were bowled out for 249. However, Sreesanth came up with a devastating spell of swing bowling to clean up the Proteas for 84. The speedster picked up the wickets of Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock to complete a famous five-for.

Sreesanth claimed three wickets in the second innings as well as India scripted history, winning the Test by 123 runs.

Today in 2006 India registered their 1st ever Test Victory in South Africa (by 123 runs Johannesburg) MoM: Sreesanth

Further, the 38-year-old described his effort of 3/45 during the Durban Test in 2010 as his favorite bowling spell. Sreesanth claimed three wickets in the second innings of the match as India bowled out South Africa for 215, having set them a target of 303.

Looking back at the spell, Sreesanth said:

“It was very well planned. I think that spell was the match-winning one.”

The former pacer had Smith (37) and Amla (16) caught behind and dismissed Kallis (17) with a ripper that jumped off a length and forced the batter to fend one to gully.

Quick Singles with Sreesanth

#1 In one word, how would you describe yourself?


#2 things we will always find in your bag?

Phone, card, house keys

#3 Toughest batsman you have ever bowled to?

Sachin Tendulkar

#4 If not a cricketer, what would you be?

An actor, and I think I am very good at it.

#5 Which bowler has the best wicket celebration?

DJ Bravo

#6 One famous personality you would love to meet?

Bruce Lee

#7 One rule of cricket you would love to change?

Stop using two different balls for an ODI innings, just have one for 50 overs.

#8 One game you are good at, apart from cricket?

Fortnite (PS5)

#9 One actress you have a crush on

I still have a crush on Preity Zinta. She knows it too. I have told her from our first meeting to our last meeting. Even when she came to the Bigg Boss house also, I said I still have crush on her.

#10 Favorite movie?

In English, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and in Hindi, ‘Sholay’.

#11 One biggest advantage of being famous?

It is that you can really help a lot of people.

#12 Favorite food?

Wife’s and Amma’s (mother’s) food.

#13 Best advice you have ever received?

My father told me that no matter what happens in your life, be grateful. Whether it is a good or bad experience, be grateful because that will make you a better person.

Edited by Parimal Dagdee
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