Jaipur:Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday termed his match-winning century against New Zealand in the second ODI here as "special" as it was his maiden ton as India captain.
Standing in for regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the first two ODIs of the series, Gambhir led by example and smashed an unbeaten 116-ball 138 to helped India register a convincing eight-wicket win and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match rubber.
"It was important. Getting a century as captain is special, and winning the game was more special," he said after the match.
He also lauded his bowlers, especially S Sreesanth, for restricting New Zealand to 259 on a batsmen-friendly Sawai Man Singh Stadium wicket.
"I always felt the wicket was going to improve. I was looking to time the ball and it worked. They batted well and 259 was a decent total, but our bowlers did a good job to contain them," Gambhir said.
"Sreesanth has got his Test rhythm in ODI cricket as well, and he's had two really good games this series," he added.
India's stand-in skipper hailed the victory as a "team effort" and said they would looking to seal the series in the next ODI in Baroda on Saturday.
"It was a complete team effort, and we want to continue this into the next game and be as professional as possible. We'll be looking to carry this into Baroda and finish it off there," Gambhir insisted.
Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori praised his batsmen but said his team was undone by poor bowling today. He also praised Gambhir for his magnificent innings.
"It was a good score. I was impressed with the way we batted, but we bowled extremely poorly," he said.
"What Gambhir played was one of the best one-day innings I have seen. We should have bowled better, we gave width to Gambhir all day and he made us pay for that. If you do that on slowish wickets, it's difficult to control the run-rate," Vettori added.