Proud of my team: Dhoni
Hobart, Feb 28: India cruised to a staggering win against Sri Lanka to keep their chances of making it to the CB series best-of-three finals alive. Building on a quick start given by Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, an incredible performance by Virat Kohli (133* off 86), with good support from Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina, saw the visitors reach 321-run target in just 36.4 overs.
Delighted by India’s best performance on the tour, MS Dhoni admitted it was a tough ask after they gave away too many runs.
Excerpts from the post-match presentation:
On beating Sri Lanka
It was one of the best ODI cricket [matches] that I have been part of, and I have been part of quite a few. I think this was fantastic right from the very start. Once we [knew we] were supposed to chase 320 in 40 overs, the start was crucial for us. It is not always the quantity that matters but [also] the quality. We got off to a very good start with Sachin [Tendulkar] and [Virender] Sehwag and [then] with Gautam Gambhir coming in [the runs continued to flow]. The partnership between Gambhir and Virat Kohli was superb and [Suresh] Raina coming in later [batted well]. The youngsters finished the job. I thought overall it was a fantastic performance.
On the target they had in mind when they opted to field first
I wouldn’t like to lie; it was 250 or a maximum of 270-odd runs [that we were expecting to chase]. That was something that was in our mind. We all knew that we have the kind of fire-power where we [can] score but 320 was a bit more than [expected]. We got off to a very good start. [In the] first ten overs [we scored] close to 90 or 100 runs; that’s something that really matters because you get the momentum and continue for the next 30 overs.
On the plans ahead and whether they would be watching the Australia v Sri Lanka match on Friday that will decide the finalists
We will busy [...] There is nothing, really, in our hands. We have done our part and will travel tomorrow. Then maybe [we’ll spend] a couple of days shopping and get some practice at the same time.
On the series
It is still not really finished. Mathematically you can still go through, but as you said, I think that was a fantastic performance. I am proud of my team. This was a performance that you don’t usually get, especially if you have not had a very good series [that] far.