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'Sreesanth loves to dance'

December 21, 2006

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth paved the way for India's first Test victory in South Africa with a wonderful spell of fast bowling in the first innings that left the hosts reeling, and routed thereafter.

The Kerala medium-pace bowler's 5 for 40 turned the tide in the Test. What also caught the attention of spectators worldwide -- including the match referee -- was his aggression on the field, that included a gig to taunt South African speedster Andre Nel.

Batting in India's second innings, Sreesanth, after hoisting Nel for a six, danced down the track, swiveling his bat in celebration. The dance drew comparison with Sourav Ganguly's shirt swirling at Lord's in 2002.

"When he is very happy, he dances," says his mother Savitri Devi, quickly informing us that Sreesanth is an accomplished dancer and was a national break-dance champion during his schooldays.

"I was very worried when he did that (dance at the Wanderers), because Nel's actions and looks are quite dangerous. So, when he called me that day, I told him not to quarrel again with Nel as he (Sreesanth) is playing in his (Nel's) country," she told

But Sreesanth, she said, assured her that everything is fine.

"He told me, 'Don't worry, Nel and I have become good friends now'. That is how Sreesanth is; on the field he is very aggressive, but off the field he is very quiet and nice," says Savitri Devi, an officer in the state treasury department in Kochi, Kerala.

Text: Harish Kotian | Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

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