Sangakkara's decision boomeranged: Sehwag

Updated: 24 December 2009 16:51 IST

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara made a blunder by opting to bat first in the fourth ODI, according to India's stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag.

Sangakkara's decision boomeranged: Sehwag

Kolkata:

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara made a blunder by opting to bat first in the fourth ODI only to see his bowlers struggling to grip a wet ball, according to India's stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag.

Elated after leading the team to the series win with one match to spare, Sehwag said he knew dew would be a factor at the Eden Gardens at this time of the year.

"We knew dew would be a factor here in this weather. Even if I had won the toss, we would have fielded.

"It (Sangakkara's decision) was good for my spinners who could grip the ball when it was dry and operate," Sehwag said.

Man of the Match Gautam Gambhir, whose unbeaten 150 was the cornerstone of India's chase, also felt Sangakkara erred in his judgement.

"We knew the dew would be a big factor. Even when we last played here, Graeme Smith got a hundred and it was hard for the bowlers to grip the ball.

"The same happened with the Sri Lankan bowlers today," observed Gambhir, architect of India's series-clinching seven-wicket win.

Sangakkara, however, placed the blame on his pacers, saying they erred in their line and length.

"(Suranga) Lakmal and (Suraj) Randiv bowled well but there wasn't enough back-up. Maybe it was little difficult for spinners like Sanath (Jayasuriya) and (Tillakaratne) Dilshan but I think our pacers bowled either too short or too full on either side of the wicket. The fast bowlers should have been more disciplined," Sangakkara said.

Sehwag was effusive in his praise for Gambhir and Kohli who stitched together a 224-run stand in just 214 balls.

"I didn't think 315 was a huge total, considering the line-up we have. It was just a matter of good start but today neither me nor Sachin (Tendulkar) could give the team a decent start.

"But all credits goes to Gambhir and Kohli, the way they batted. Kohli has done really well in the opportunities he got. He got fifties in the Champions Trophy and against Sri Lanka. We all knew he had the talent and it was just a matter of performing at the international level," Sehwag said.

Leading the side in absence of regular skipper MS Dhoni, who is serving a two-match ban, Sehwag impressed with his innovative field setting but the Delhi player was also candid enough to acknowledge Tendulkar's input that helped them curb Dilshan on Thursday.

"The credit goes to Sachin Tendulkar. He told me to get the bowlers bowl on his legs," Sehwag said.

Like Sehwag, Gambhir too was generous with his praise for Kohli, whom he handed over the Man of the Match award.

"It was important to build a partnership after losing those early two wickets. In Kohli, we had someone who could play positively and score quickly. That took pressure off my shoulder and I could take my time and keep going," Gambhir said.

"I knew if we have enough wickets in hand, any target is possible after 40 overs. I thought we can wait till third Powerplay and take it from there," said Gambhir who completed 3000 ODI runs today.

Looking back, the left-hander said he was happy to get a century at Eden Gardens after failing to convert a good many starts.

"I've been pretty unfortunate in the last two innings but I am happy that I played a good knock to help us win the series. And it's fantastic to get a hundred in Eden Gardens," said Gambhir.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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