'This team has enough bench strength'

Gambhir lauds Kohlis poise in stitching together a match-winning partnership

'This team has enough bench strength'


fetch that Gautam Gambhir pulls one en route to his  unbeaten 150 against Sri Lanka on Thursday. AP

Riding on the duo’s 226-run partnership, India successfully chased down Sri Lanka’s intimidating 315 to seal the five-match one-day series here on Thursday at the Eden Gardens and Gambhir was delighted to have guided the team home. “First of all this is the first one-day game that I have finished off. When I walked in, it was important to have a partnership because we were chasing a big total. We had lost two quick wickets and it was important for me to stay at the wicket till the end,” he said in his post-match comments.

Kohli too rose to the occasion in great fashion with a well-constructed 107. Did he advise anything to his younger Delhi mate? “I mean it was obvious that when we joined in the middle, we needed to have a build the partnership. I just asked him to hang in there and the runs will come. I am glad he did that,” he added.

MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh were missing from action for different reasons, but India hardly missed them while registering a comfortable win. “That goes on to show that this team has enough bench strength. Obviously not having Dhoni and Yuvi was a big set back, but it was important for us not to think of that and make the best of available resources,” he noted.

Kumar Sangakkara obviously was a disappointed man having lost the one-day series after the defeat in the Test series. “Upul Tharanga batted exceptionally well and debutant Thissara Perera provided the acceleration we needed towards the end. Having scored 315, we needed our experienced bowlers to bowl on one side of the wicket, but if you see the wagon wheel, the Indians scored all around park.

“If you see in the entire series so far the debutants – Chanaka Welegdera, Suraj Randiv and Suranga Lakmal – have been our best bowlers at various stages. The experienced bowlers should understand that there’s a competition for them,” he remarked while adding that he didn’t regret his decision to bat first though the dew factor was expected to play its part in the night.

Lanka effected four changes and one of them had to be made just prior to the start when paceman Weelegedara injured his groin. “It’s always tough to make changes just 10 minutes before the toss. Injuries have played their part in disturbing our combination through out the series and that’s never easy to deal with,” he reasoned.

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