Adelaide: Mahendra Singh Dhoni almost did it for India once again. The Indian skipper played a crucial role in India’s drawn match against Sri Lanka and what could have been a match in Lankan favour, seeing the last 10 overs, Dhoni turned it into a thriller and helped India grab crucial two points from the tied match against the Lankan Tigers. However, the captain wasn’t happy with his call that ran Gautam Gambhir out and said that his mistake cost his team a win.
“I could have avoided that run. I was wrong in calling Gautam for a single and he was run out. He was playing good and was well settled. Had he been on the crease, we could have won the game,” said Dhoni, adding that nevertheless, he was happy with the draw as the coin could have dropped both the ways, but he was happy to see the coin stand still.
On changing his bat in the last few overs, both in the match against Australia and today against Sri Lanka, Dhoni said that he used that bat for slogging. “It’s a heavier bat that I use for slogging,” said Dhoni, adding, that he looked to stay on the crease till the end and finish the match for his team. “When you come at No 6, you don’t have many batsmen to take the crease thereafter. So I look to stay till the end. Though my motive is to finish the match, I can’t always do it,” said Dhoni, adding that they had decided to go after Mathews in the second last over as Malinga would always have been difficult to hit.
“Malinga is difficult bowler to hit. His slinging action is difficult to read. So we decided to go after Mathews and managed a few runs.”
India's captain, who is known for keeping his calm in the adverse situations, said that he too felt the nerves with India requiring nine runs off the last over bowled by Lasith Malinga.
"I looked to stay till the end. If you have a decent partnership you can stick it out. Malinga is very difficult to hit so we were looking to target Mathews. (The last hit) was a bit difficult here, but in India that would have been two bounces and four. When you need 10 or 12 in the last over your heart rate will always be up."
Mahela Jayawardene, who had a chance of winning the match going into the last 10 overs, said that he wasn’t happy with the result. “I am not happy with the result. The win should have been ours. The match was swinging both ways till the end. But then when you have MS batting, anything can happen. But we failed in all aspects. The score 236 wasn’t enough. To it we dropped catches and missed run outs and that is not going to help in matches like this. But then we have many positives to take from this match. We are losing by small margins and hope the momentum shifts our favour,” said Jayawardene, adding that Lasitha Malinga needed a special mention. “He is brilliant bowler. He almost did it for us.”