“BALL-a thotta anja, ball-a thotta anja…(if he overwhelmed a ball, he got 5 wickets).” It’s a line we hear mostly in a Tamil Nadu cricket circles when a name Sridharan Sriram props up. In a early 1990s, Sriram was ear-marked for greatness. He was a supernatural left-arm spinner of singular exemplary peculiarity and with a fearsome reputation. And he was utterly a threat with round in palm during a youth level. It was no warn afterwards that he was fast-tracked into a state group during usually 17 as a dilettante spinner while being a breakaway star for India U-19. But it’s doubtful that many would know that.
For, not usually did he never utterly live adult to those lofty expectations, even a 8 ODIs that he did play for India with minimal impact came as a dilettante batsman who could double adult as a useful left-arm spinner. And Sriram faded divided though many of a snippet after a brief hurl in an Indian context anyway. That is, before he resurfaced again in a unlikeliest of scenarios in Pune final week with Australian Stephen O’Keefe attributing his epoch-breaking 12-wicket transport that shamed India to his team’s home-grown spin consultant.
Suddenly, Sridharan Sriram was in a news again this time for carrying desirous a spell that was suggestive of his possess unusual exploits dual decades ago. It did demeanour after all like all O’Keefe had to do for an Indian wicket during a MCA Stadium was grip a round in his hands. And he didn’t usually settle for five. He finished with six, in both innings. It isn’t an out-of-the-blue association, however, given Sriram has been operative with a Australian group on and off given an ‘A’ debate to India in 2015, and was partial of their support staff during a 3-0 mauling in Sri Lanka.
Former India left-arm spinner Murali Kartik has famous Sriram given their Tamil Nadu Under-12 days. And he recalls an heated cricketer who was a good student, both in propagandize and on a cricket ground. Someone who was on a consistent query to get improved during his qualification and was never bashful of going out of a box to do that.
Sriram finished with a really considerable first-class batting normal of 52.99. But for someone who started his career as potentially a subsequent large Indian spinner, his bowling normal reads a unsatisfactory 46.07. It didn’t assistance that Sriram had to be calm being a third spinner behind stalwarts Sunil Subramaniam and M Venkatramanna for a vital partial of his early career. But Kartik believes that losing his approach rather as a spinner usually done Sriram a some-more intimidating competition with a bat.
“He was one of a best spinners you’d see during a youth spin though afterwards remade into one of a best players of spin in a country. He played a brush and reverse-sweep improved than most. If we got him out as a spinner we knew we were good. And we knew you’d done it if Sriram rated we as a good spinner,” says Kartik.
Sriram took a while to mangle into a Indian group though it came on a behind of a stellar Ranji deteriorate where he scored 1075 runs. It not usually won him a India cricketer of a year endowment though also led to him apropos a first-ever target of a Border-Gavaskar scholarship. He spent a month or so during a afterwards Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide underneath Rod Marsh. Little would he have famous afterwards that his Aussie tie would be renewed some 15 years later, and how.
Sriram never utterly looked staid during a top spin and remained mostly on a fringes, though former Tamil Nadu teammate Laxmipathy Balaji says it wasn’t due to miss of effort. Sriram was a cricket-nut, according to Balaji, and it was formidable to have any review with him that wouldn’t somehow come behind to cricket.
“He’s really fluent when it comes to his ideas. He won’t reason back. And he’s left around a universe training something new. He has played bar cricket in New Zealand, for Scotland, in Bangladesh and England,” says Balaji.
Sriram was a journeyman even within India and has played for teams and has lonesome a north, south, easterly and west zones of a country. He left his home state for Maharashtra before branch adult for Assam, Goa and Himachal Pradesh. He even had a army in a ICL. All along, he frequency went by a deteriorate though a decent volume of runs.
That he would spin to coaching once his personification days were over hasn’t astounded Balaji, deliberation how formidable it would be to get Sriram off a cricket ground.
Prasanna Agoram, South Africa’s long-standing opening analyst, doesn’t usually describe to Sriram as an Indian trade in a unfamiliar dressing-room; he’s also seen him in from tighten buliding in a coaching ability during Delhi Daredevils. The dual also have remained tighten friends given a time Sriram was Tamil Nadu U-19 captain and Prasanna one of a standbys. And what he did with O’Keefe during a lunch-break on a second day — removing him to skip lunch and try bowling a small “rounder and quicker” that eventually resulted in a turnaround — is accurately a kind of inputs Australia can design from Sriram.
“He’s not someone for motivational speeches. His coaching technique is formed on grant and stats. It’s flattering cut-throat. He’ll take a actor to a ground, tell him what he thinks will work for that particular and ask him to hang to it like he did with O’Keefe,” says Prasanna.
There will, however, always sojourn surmise over how many of O’Keefe’s record-breaking opening was due to a fraudulent Pune representation as compared to Sriram’s contribution. Whatever a case, during slightest in Balaji’s opinion, “it was approval prolonged overdue,” even if it did come while he was in a rivalry camp.