Depleted bowling cost us series: Sangakkara

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara on Saturday blamed his side's depleted bowling unit for the team's ODI series defeat against India.

Updated: December 26, 2009 11:10 IST
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New Delhi:

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara on Saturday blamed his side's depleted bowling unit for the team's ODI series defeat against India.

Having already conceded the five-match series to India who have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead, Sangakkara said his team fought tooth and nail but the home side's superior bowling made all the difference in the series which concludes here on Sunday.

"We tried to get over the line but failed at crucial times. We should have won the first match (when Sri Lanka fell three runs short of India's 414) at Rajkot," Sangakkara rued.

"There wasn't any huge contrast between the two sides. In both sides, the batsmen dominated while bowlers were patchy. "Unfortunately, we didn't have our full-strength bowling unit while India had their frontline bowlers. That made the difference," said the Lankan skipper, referring to the injuries to Thilan Thushara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando and Angelo Mathews.

Despite the series defeat, Sangakkara, however, saw a silver lining in the emergence of youngsters.

"I'm happy with the way they have stepped up (the plate). They naturally lacked experience but served us well. (Suranga) Lakmal, Thissara Perera, Suraj Randiv -- three of our best bowlers were debutants. Their raw enthusiasm will keep the regulars on their toes," Sangakkara added.

The Lankan skipper said his middle order colleagues could have done better but was not ready to blame them for the series defeat.

"It's hard to say the middle order made the difference (between India and Sri Lanka). I think most of middle order batsmen did reasonably well in the limited opportunities they had," Sangakkara said.

"Of course they could have done better in a couple of games but they are the best we have," he explained. Sangakkara also did not agree that his side was over-dependent on Tillakaratne.

"Dilshan has had a fantastic years, probably the best in the world with 10 centuries. Even when he got out early, we scored 315 in Kolkata," he pointed out.

Looking back at the series, Sangakkara said matches were really close but he would have been happy to see a more even battle between the bat and ball.

"Scores like 400 and 300s, you ask bowlers from both sides how they feel," he quipped.

"I wish there was slightly less runs and more battle (between bat and ball). The matches were interesting and close no doubt about that but it was tough for bowlers from both sides," he said.

Sangakkara was also convinced that it was just a matter of time before someone like Virender Sehwag or Dilshan scored the first individual 200 in ODIs.

"Sehwag and Dilshan had the opportunity in the first match. I think it's just a matter of time (before someone creates the record). People are trying to raise the bar all the time," he said.

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