Dhoni showers praises on batsmen
"This was one of the best ODI cricket I have been a part of. That was fantastic right through the very start of our chase. When you need 321 off 40 overs, you need a good start. You need the quantity but the quality also. Overall it was a fantastic performance," said Dhoni after the match.
Needing to chase down a mammoth 321 in 40 overs in order to get a bonus point and stay afloat in the tri-series, India rode on Virat Kohli`s unbeaten 133 off 86 balls to snatch an incredible victory in only 36.4 overs.
Dhoni said the top-order comprising Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhit provided the right kind of start to his side`s chase. "First 10 overs, we got the 90-odd runs on the board. It was a great start and we just need to carry on the momentum. Sachin, Sehwag gave us the good start and then Gambhir chipped in with useful contribution," he said.
Dhoni said that he wanted to keep Sri Lanka down to 270 after winning the toss but failed to do it. "We wanted to keep them down to 250, maximum 270. We knew we had the firepower, but still 320 was more than we could digest. But once we got that start, we knew we could kick on," he said.
The Indian skipper added that with their hopes of advancing to the finals of the tri-series hanging on the result of Australia-Sri Lanka match on Friday, they would like to spend a couple of days shopping. "We are going on a couple of days of shopping, and some practice at the same time. It`s not in our hands now," he said.
Man-of-the-match Virat Kohli said that it was a great team effort to chase down the huge target like 320 inside 40 overs. "To be able to chase 320 in 40 overs in a must win game, and put that sort of a batting effort together was a great team effort. This shows our character as a team, and how well we can execute our plans. It is about working hard and sticking in there," he said.
He said he tried to rectify some of the mistakes that he had committed in the earlier matches of the tri-series. "I committed a few mistakes in the last games after getting to 20 and 30, trying to middle every ball, which doesn`t happen always in international cricket. This is a special feeling, probably my best one-day innings so far," said adding that they would be rooting for Australia in Friday`s match against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said that one can`t do much when someone like Kohli plays out of his skin on a true pitch. "You can`t do much when he bats like that. It was the first off day for our bowlers in the tournament, so fair enough. It wasn`t just Kohli, it was also the way the others batted around him," he said.
Jayawardene sounded optimistic about qualifying for the tri-series final. "Our qualification is still in our hands, which is great. Hope, we come back from this and win in Melbourne."