Mumbai: Team India have such a strong batting line-up that even a total of 300 would not have been enough to defend, said Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara after his team was outplayed in the World Cup final at Mumbai. (Agencies)
"When you have such an awesome batting line-up, even 300 is not enough," Sangakkara said after Sri Lanka lost the World Cup final to India by six wickets last night here at the Wankhede Stadium.
"Their batting is unbelievable, best in ODI cricket, they have a good captain. MS is very intelligent, very smart. He is the epitome of captain cool", he said.
Sangakkara also heaped praise on Gautam Gambhir who scored 97 to bail India.
"Gambhir is one of the best players I have seen as a left-hander, and he had that partnership with Virat. They scored many boundaries. MS knew what he had to do," he said.
Asked about the confusion during toss, Sangakkara said that no one took a call.
"No one took a call. Mahi thought I had called wrong. We were pretty happy to have won."
Sangakkara admitted that the Sri Lankans let things slip after the early breakthroughs in the form of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.
"After we got the first two wickets, we were not tight enough with our bowling. MS really stuck out there and saw through the overs.
"It was a great pitch throughout. It was turning a bit towards the middle part of the innings. We did not bother them too much. Murali is our best bowler when it comes to spin. He was turning the ball.
"Once they got 100 in the 18th or 19th over after losing two quick wickets that was a great effort. That was the time we should have tightened up things but could not," Sangakkara said.
Suraj Randiv's inclusion in place of Ajantha Mendis was baffling but the former's inclusion, according to the Lankan skipper, was due to his excellent record against India.
"Mendis was an option we were thinking of. We were forced to change line-up for Angelo Mathews. Randiv has done exceptionally well against India. It was one off day for our bowling attack," Sangakkara said.
"Mathews It was a huge setback, batting and bowling, but that is the way it goes."
After a shaky start, Sri Lanka rode on Mahela Jayawardene's century to post a fighting total.
"It was a very, very competitive total. Then again, we also have to penetrate with our bowling attack. Malinga got a few wickets, but we needed to take 3-4.
"Batting first, getting that total on the board, was never enough the way the Indians batted," Sangakkara said in the post-match conference.
On the field the 1996 World Cup winners were not as agile as they had been in the tournament.
"We have not been the best fielding part today. People do miss catches but you have to take close ones. (But) Gambhir and MS batted well," said the skipper.
Sangakkara said that it was a combination of factors that took India to the pinnacle.
"(It's a) combination of factors that made them win in all conditions, not just home. Playing at home took that inspiration."
The skipper also lavished praise on Jayawardene for his classy hundred.
"Mahela's was an exceptional century. He really showed us what he can do."
Despite the heart-breaking loss after coming so close, Sangakkara said that the boys were proud of their performance.
"We are proud of the way we played our cricket, we got to the finals, it does not make the tournament bad for us," he said.
To conclude Sangakkara said that the team will miss coach Trevor Bayliss' services.
"Trevor prompted us very well, he's a man of few words, but what he says does count. We won't have him any more, but his heart is with us."
Mumbai: Team India have such a strong batting line-up that even a total of 300 would not have been enough to defend, said Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara after his team was outplayed in the World Cup final at Mumbai.