India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said toss and poor fielding had a big role to play in his side’s comprehensive defeat against Sri Lanka in the inconsequential match of the Compaq Cup tri-nation series here.
Riding on Sanath Jayasuriya’s 98 and Angelo Mathews six for 20, Sri Lanka humiliated India by 139 runs to end their brief stay at the number one position in ODI cricket.
However, India will have a chance to take revenge as they take on the same opponents in the final of the tournament on Monday.
“Toss is important. If you win it, you have 60 per cent chance of winning the match. Moreover, if you score 230-240 runs, then you have a good chance as the bowlers will find it easier to bowl second,” Dhoni told reporters.
“Our fielding today was not up to the mark. Even as such we can only improve marginally as it is not fair to expect a fast bowler, who has slogged it out in the hot and humid afternoon, to field well every time,” he said.
Dhoni said with runs flowing freely from the blades of Sri Lankan batsmen, he found it difficult to set the field in the right areas.
“When good (Sri Lankan) batsmen are around and they are getting runs, the field setting is also not that effective,” Dhoni said.
He also rued the absence of the regular opening duo of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who are out with injuries.
“Sehwag and Gambhir have been opening for a long time and it is rare that both have got injured at the same time. But we have a good bench strength that will last for even five years,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan batsman Thilina Kandamby, who made an unbeaten 91, said his side were always the favourites to win the match after posting a formidable 307 on the board.
“I am happy with my performance. We expected around 250-280 runs but we scored well in the last. We did not expect India to be dismissed at such a low score.
“I thought we had a chance to win after scoring 300 plus,” he said.
He also lauded for his man-of-the-match Angelo Mathews.
“It was Angelo Mathew’s day today and he performed well with the bowl. The pitch was also a bit on the slower side.