Kochi captain Mahela Jayawardene has backed Shantha Sreesanth to channel his aggression into a match-winning performance against the Pune Warriors in their Indian Premier League clash.
The animated Sreesanth, renowned for his oft-undue belligerence and overzealous approach, is set to open the bowling alongside fellow seamer RP Singh on Wednesday and will require discipline and measure if he is to upstage a Pune batting line-up packed with stars such as Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Graeme Smith and Jesse Ryder.
“We want him to be aggressive. I think that’s what he is all about. You need characters like him. I think if we can control him, we can have ourselves a very successful bowler for Kochi,” insisted Jayawardene.
“I think you need to identify the individuals. Sree performs well in that manner. You take that from him and he might not do well. He’s a very aggressive bowler but I have noticed he has toned down in the last one year.”
New to the lucrative Twenty20 tournament, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala got their debut season off to a disjointed start with a six-wicket loss at the hands of the Bangalore Royal Challengers on Saturday. However, with Australians and New Zealand recruits playing alongside Sri Lankans and Indian stars, Jayawardene believes his cosmopolitan bunch will steadily begin to gel across the duration of the tourney.
“We have been bonding very well. We had a great last outing. I thought there would be many hiccups in our first game, that didn’t happen. Everyone is identifying their roles and that is great,” concluded the former Sri Lanka captain. Cricket365