Top bowling spells by Sreesanth in ODIs
Despite the controversial end to his career, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth managed an accomplishment which plenty of great bowlers could not. The World Cup triumph in 2011 was the highest note in the right-arm fast bowler's journey encompassing 53 ODIs.
In this segment, we look back at Sreesanth's top three spells in the 50-over format. Greater emphasis has been placed on performances in victorious matches.
4/47 against New Zealand at Jaipur in 2010
Under stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir, India played ruthlessly to demolish New Zealand 5-0 in the ODI series in 2010. During the second match of the series, the Men in Blue's charge was built on the back of an impressive spell from Sreesanth.
After winning the toss and opting to chase, Sreesanth helped India get off to a strong start by removing Jamie How. The right-arm pacer returned in the death overs and restricted New Zealand with a slew of wickets.
Having dismissed Scott Styris, Sreesanth castled Daniel Vettori and Tymal Mills to limit the Kiwis to a manageable total of 258. Gambhir's unbeaten century propelled India to a comprehensive eight-wicket triumph.
4/58 against Pakistan at Karachi in 2006
Unlike the politically influenced current phase, the span between 2004 and 2007 saw India and Pakistan meet each other on the cricket field on a regular basis. During the 2006 tour, Rahul Dravid's team triumphed in the ODI series by a convincing 4-1 margin.
With the series already sewn in their favour, the fifth ODI at the National Stadium in Karachi provided an opportunity for India to impose themselves on the hosts. Bowling first on a benign track, the Men in Blue relied on Sreesanth's spirited spell to quell the strong Pakistani lineup.
Sreesanth sent back Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik in an inspired effort with the newer ball. The sudden top-order collapse left Pakistan reeling at 77/3. Although they recovered to post 286, India chased down the target without breaking a sweat.
6/55 against England at Indore in 2006
Having taken an unassailable 4-1 lead, a confident Indian unit strode into Indore for the final ODI of the series. Overcoming the scorching heat and lifeless pitch, Sreesanth delivered a searing spell to halt England's batting lineup.
The then 23-year old got to work by scalping Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior in successive overs. The double blow pegged the visitors following a promising opening partnership. By the time the Kerala pacer was brought back in the end overs, England were on track for a final flourish.
Sreesanth pushed the tourists on the back foot by dismissing the well-set Geraint Jones. He then razed the lower-order and finished with career-best figures of 6/55. A powerful display from the top four enabled India to overhaul the target of 289 with consummate ease.