Dhoni pleased with Irfan’s bowling performance, praises Kohli & Sehwag for their batting

Hambantota: Riding high on the batting performances of Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag and some good bowling display by Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan and R Ashwin, India started on a winning note against Sri Lanka in the ODIs here on Saturday. Indian skipper MS Dhoni particularly seemed to be pleased with the performance of Irfan Pathan and said that he was one positive thing for India as far as bowling was considered.

"The death bowling for us needs to improve. Zaheer was good. One good positive was Irfan Pathan doing well. Without Jadeja or Yuvraj, it is difficult to make a side balanced in both departments so this was important. It's a good learning experience for the younger bowlers. Gautam Gambhir was unfortunate to get out in that fashion. Sehwag and Kohli batted very well but we are lacking a bit of firepower down the line. This was one game where I felt the toss would be crucial. In the second innings, there was variable bounce and it was a little difficult to bat on," said Dhoni in the post-match presentation.

Meanwhile Virat Kohli’s onslaught against Lanklan Tigers continued as the Indian vice-captain scored his third consecutive century against Sri Lanka which powered India to a 21-rin victory over the hosts. Speaking about his 12th century, his fourth in five ODI innings, Kohli said that doing well in Australia really boosted his confidence. "God's been kind, I've been working hard. Hopefully I can be consistent for the team this season. Performing for my country is the biggest thing for me, and I try to give my best out there for the team. Doing well in Australia really boosted my confidence, and that Test hundred really helped."

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said that it was important for them to set up a good platform for the batsmen down the order. "We've got some big-hitters at the end, but we left too much for them to do. Too many mistakes, against a quality side like India. It was important for us to set up a platform. Sangakarra was trying to build an innings. We never had momentum going into the last 10 overs. We'll try to refocus and come back strong. Kulasekara and Lasith are two big guys I rely on during the Powerplays, but we need to improve our standards in the field."

By Indian Sports News Network