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Sreesanth is talented, but needs to control himself, says Akram

New Delhi: There is nothing wrong with being emotional and aggressive while playing but if S. Sreesanth could control himself better, he can prove to be an asset for the Indian cricket team, Pakistan great Wasim Akram said on Wednesday.

Akram said Sreesanth had the ability to pick wickets with the new ball and just needed to manage himself in a better way.

“Absence of Ashish Nehra in the opening match against Bangladesh gave the Kerala Express an entry into the playing XI, but I have always maintained Sreesanth is definitely a top choice for me.

“From a cricketing point of view, Sreesanth is a wicket-taking bowler. I will like to see him running in the way he is doing right now and try to bowl the right line.

“Once in a while, on flat tracks, he might get hammered but he might still give you two quick breakthroughs with the new ball,” Akram said.

Akram, who retired after playing 104 Tests and 356 ODIs, said that one could not fault Sreesanth for his on-field antics as he was a young and emotional guy.

“You can't fault Sreesanth for trying too hard. He is emotional and obviously wants to seal a berth in the team. He is an aggressive and a positive bowler and that is very important.

“It's just that he has to control himself better. He can't be bowling fast every ball and can't be taking a wicket with every delivery,” Akram said.

Commenting on Sreesanth's performance in the World Cup opener against co-host Bangladesh, Akram said he was unlucky with a couple of inside edges missing the stumps.

“Against Bangladesh, where he went wicketless, Sreesanth was unlucky as a few deliveries missed the stumps. His first two overs went for quite a few runs and so his confidence also went down. But he is a wicket-taking bowler. Obviously his no-balls need to be controlled but also he is swinging the ball which is very important according to me.”

Akram also praised pacer Munaf Patel for his performance against Bangladesh. “He has definitely improved in the last two years and he admitted after the match that he was taking extra care of his physical fitness. Munaf's body language and his fielding have improved and he is a very intelligent and clever bowler as far as the variation of pace is concerned,” he said.

Young sensation and Indian batsman Virat Kohli also came in for rich praise from Akram. “The more I am seeing Kohli making runs, the more I am getting impressed. He is certainly a very talented and exciting player. I hope Kohli understands he should be looking to be a great Test player and not a great T20 hero.

“He's got the ability to be a classy batsman. And a 100 in his first World Cup game — it is a dream come true for a youngster like him. I hope Virat has cemented the fourth spot in the strong Indian team,” he said. — PTI

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