Dhoni says he backed his instincts to hit winning runs
Port of Spain (Trinidad), July 12 (IANS):
A beaming India’s skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said after leading his team to an amazing victory in the tri-series final against Sri Lanka that he backed his instincts to get 15 runs in the last over to clinch the match.
Dhoni in his post-match remarks Thursday said he knew any bowler who was going to bowl the last over would not be as experienced as Lasith Malinga and he backed himself to get the required runs.
“I knew I could look forward to getting the 15 runs in the last over as Shaminda Eranga was an inexperienced bowler and my instinct worked today,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni said he had to change his bat twice in the closing stages of the match as he needed a heavier bat.
Dhoni, who pushed his deputy Virat Kohli ahead to receive the $60,000 winners’ cheque and the Celkon trophy along with him as Kohli had led the side to the final, said he was blessed with a smart cricketing sense in assessing the situation.
A distraught Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews felt that Dhoni was a great finisher and eventually he made the difference.
Mathews said his team had its opportunities to consolidate the position, first while batting and then in the field, but their effort fell short in the end.
“When Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne were out there at 171 for two, we looked at a score of 230-240, but we lost quick wickets because of poor choice of shots,” he said, adding that “his bowlers bowled brilliantly”.
On the positive side, Mathews said the team showed a lot of character in entering the final and also the way they fought till the end.
Indian seamer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was adjudged the Performer of the Series and was presented the Polaris car for finishing with 10 wickets in four matches, sharing the top bowling spot with Sri Lankan spinner Rengana Herath, who received the Housla Buland Academy award for the best bowler.
Rohit Sharma for the second match running was presented the Most Trusted Player award for his well compiled 58 while Dhoni was given the Man-of-the-Match award for his heroic match-winning 45 not out.
Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene received the Perfect Partnership award for scoring centuries opening the innings against India in their first round-robin game.
Tharanga was the highest scorer in the series with 223 runs followed by Rohit with 217.
Mathews was given the Most Flexible Player award for his all-round performance in the series and West Indian Darren Bravo got the Safe Hands award for fielding.