S Sreesanth may not have had a long international career than expected but even in the relatively brief span with the Indian cricket team, he managed to produce moments of brilliance, some of which will live on for a long time to come. Be it that snorter to South Africa legend Jacques Kallis in 2010 or that legendary celebration after he smoked Andre Nel for a six right after a verbal exchange with the fast bowler during the SA tour of 2006-07.
That celebration is still remembered fondly by fans and cricketers alike with even South Africa pacer Dale Steyn counting it among his favorites, terming the moment as ‘legendary’.
“Sreesanth and his slog off Andre Nel for 6 with the swinging bat celebration. Legendary," Steyn replied to a Twitter question from popular cricket website ESPNcricinfo about a batter and shot that gives fans the chills.
Years later, Sreesanth revealed the reason behind his dancing celebration that saw him wildly swinging his bat in front of Nel.
“Andre Nel was talking a lot," Sreesanth told Sportskeeda. “He kept saying that Indians don’t have a heart and that they (South Africa) were the better team. I wanted to tell him to look at the scoreboard once; we had the upper hand. I had gotten out for a duck in the first innings, and a lot of our better batsmen hadn’t scored too many runs that day."
Sreesanth has been part of two world cup winning teams - ICC World T20 in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011. Calling it ‘momentary madness’, the former India pacer said Sourav Ganguly’s legendary shirt celebration at Lord’s after his team’s victory in the final of Natwest Trophy was playing on his mind.
“It was some momentary madness. I had that memory of Dada flinging his shirt over his head after the Natwest Trophy final in 2002. I basically replicated the action of taming a wild horse with the bat. I didn’t get out to Nel in that entire series. I even hit him for three boundaries in Durban, but I didn’t dance there," he said.
India lost that series 1-2 after winning the opening Test by 123 runs.