Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was at the peak of his prowess since his debut in 2005 and was part of India's two World Cup-winning squads, lifting the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 50-over World Cup in 2011. S Sreesanth was also part of the Indian Test team, which rose to the top of the Test rankings in 2009. Sreesanth was dropped midway in through the 2011 World Cup squad and has credited Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni for picking him in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka.
Speaking to Rediff.com's Harish Kotian, S Sreesanth thanked Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni for his 2011 World Cup selection. The Kerala pacer was picked after Praveen Kumar was ruled out due to injury and played the first match against Bangladesh. S Sreesanth was underwhelming in the game against Bangladesh and was subsequently dropped before making a surprise return in the final against Sri Lanka. The former Kings XI Punjab pacer reveals that before the final, Sachin Tendulkar took him to Gary Kirsten and told him that he should feature in the final.
MS Dhoni acted on Sachin Tendulkar's advice and picked S Sreesanth, which he claims was supported by Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh as well. Sreesanth added that Harbhajan Singh informed him a day prior to the match and advised him to sleep as he was playing the final. The Kerala pacer reveals that he suffered from a heat stroke during the match, but the support from MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of the team egged him on.
S Sreesanth said that he was lucky to be part of two World Cup-winning squads and to play in a team that was the best in the world across all the three formats.
S Sreesanth said that it was a huge thing for him to open the bowling with Zaheer Khan in the 2011 World Cup final. The former Rajasthan Royals pacer added that he looked up to the Indian left-arm pacer, who was his senior at the MRF Pace Foundation. S Sreesanth credited Zaheer Khan's knowledge of the game and said that he was amongst the best swing bowlers and learned a lot from him.
Sreesanth featured in 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is for India, picking 87, 75 and 7 wickets respectively in each format. The Kerala pacer was banned by the BCCI for his alleged role in the IPL spot-fixing scandal in 2013, a seven-year ban which ends in August 2020.