Indian cricketer S Sreesanth 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. S Sreesanth has had his share of success as he gave several match-winning performances in his career, which got shortened courtesy BCCI's 7-year ban on him after the IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal.
The right-arm pacer delivered one such performance when he starred in India's maiden Test victory on South African soil in December 2006. S Sreesanth grabbed eight wickets in that match, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings as the Proteas were bowled out for a paltry 84. That performance made many believe that the Kerala speedster could become one of the greatest Indian fast bowlers ever.
However, S Sreesanth has credited former India captain and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly for his success in the match. Incidentally, Sourav Ganguly was making a comeback into the Indian team at the time, having been dropped from the team since January 2006. While speaking to India Today, S Sreesanth said that he still remembers they had a tour match in Potchefstroom before the Test series. He added that with Sourav Ganguly eager to make India win and a strong statement with his own performance too, he would take him Sreesanth early to the nets before anyone.
S Sreesanth heaped praise on Sourav Ganguly. The India pacer further said that he wasn’t too good against the left-handers and bowling those lengthy spells to Sourav Ganguly in the nets helped him immensely. S Sreesanth also said that he bowled quite well to the South African left-handers, especially Graeme Smith. He added that after every wicket, he would go to Sachin Tendulkar because the legendary batsman would keep telling him from mid-off or mid-on where to bowl.
S Sreesanth pointed out that while he was the Man-of-the-Match, it was all because of these legends. S Sreesanth further said that he didn’t know India had never won a Test in South Africa and it was only later that he was told about the same. S Sreesanth went on to say that he used to bowl against these legends in the nets and that made him the bowler he was.
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. 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.