ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai

'India were a step ahead of us' - Sangakkara

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 2, 2011

Comments: 79 | Text size: A | A

Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, took heart from his team's performance to reach the final of the World Cup but described the defeat to India in Mumbai as "hugely disappointing". It was Sri Lanka's third defeat - starting with the World Cup in the West Indies, followed by the World Twenty20 in England - in a global tournament final since 2007 and Sangakkara regretted not grabbing what he said was a "once in a lifetime opportunity."

"It is hugely disappointing but satisfying as well in a strange sense because we understand the magnitude of what we've done to get here," Sangakkara said. "We can be proud of the way we played our cricket. We tried exceptionally hard to win games, but today unfortunately we couldn't convert."

Sri Lanka had the upper hand after Mahela Jayawardene scored a sublime century to take them to 274 and Lasith Malinga struck early to remove the Indian openers. There had been confusion during the toss, which had to redone after, as Sangakkara claimed, Dhoni thought his counterpart had called incorrectly, while the others weren't able to hear the call. Sangakkara won the second toss but said the score his team managed after batting first wasn't adequate given the depth of the Indian batting line-up. "Batting first and putting those runs up on the board was never enough the way the Indians batted," he said. "Their batting is unbelievable. They probably have the best top seven in ODI cricket."

Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni struck match-winning 90s to get India's chase on track after those two early setbacks, and Sangakkara admitted his bowlers didn't apply enough pressure. "After we got the first two wickets, we weren't really tight enough with our bowling. We bowled quite a few loose balls and Gambhir and Kohli made us pay for that. MS really stuck it out there and saw through the tough periods. Once they matched and then went past the asking-rate, it was very difficult to pull them back.

Kumar Sangakkara receives his runners-up medal, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
The World Cup eluded Kumar Sangakkara's team in a gripping final © Getty Images

"It was a great pitch, it lasted throughout. It turned a little in the middle part of the innings but the Indians are great players of spin. We didn't bother them too much today apart from Malinga's two wickets at the start."

Dhoni's calm leadership under pressure has come in for praise this tournament and Sangakkara joined in. "Dhoni has been the epitome of captain cool. He's intelligent, very smart in the way he does things.

"It's a combination of various factors that has helped them win in different conditions. We also have played very well against them, but playing at home they took that inspiration that one step further."

Sangakkara also lauded Jayawardene for helping Sri Lanka overcome a slow start and set a challenging target. It was the first time a batsman ended up on the losing side in a World Cup final after scoring a century. "It was an exceptional innings. He made this wonderful stage his own. He really showed us what he is capable of and what a classy player he is. He got us to where we reached, otherwise we were looking at a total of 240-250.

"It doesn't matter how often you play each other. It is the World Cup final. You need to do something special. We had that in Jayawardene and they had that in Gambhir and Dhoni. They were one step ahead of us."

Sangakkara also acknowledged the contribution of Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, who will be stepping down. "Trevor grounded us very well. A lot of old-fashioned hard work, a lot of common sense. He's a man of few words but what he does say really counts. He's been one of our most successful coaches."


Comments: 79 
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Posted by PADDY on (April 5, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

@ashok_indiancricfan - trying to be very smart?? one sunny day does not make a summer! best asian team - SL, 2nd best - PAK, 3rd - Bangladesh and last place is your India.

Posted by Ruwani on (April 5, 2011, 12:49 GMT)

How fair it is deciding the champion by playing a single match between two champions..2 months back, Indians lost their last ODI series to South Africans and the triangular series to Sri Lankans ...Now what is the meaning having a world cup with a lot of unnecessary matches , but most important one decider match...

Posted by Deleepa on (April 5, 2011, 9:51 GMT)

The most disgusting thing for me was Dhoni didn't even took the time to thank their opposition, as Kumar was full of praises for the Indian team. Shame on you Dhoni!

Posted by Ajay on (April 4, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

@lakmalphysics My friend , SL didnt even compete with India in 2nd innings of final, Sl were pathetic in the field. India batted , bowled and fielded way much better than SL. U were the one who was criticizing india at every opportunity and now look at the way India has responded.......

Posted by Sandy on (April 4, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

India are the only team to win 60over world cup, 50 over world cup and 20 over world cup. Hows that !!!

Posted by Keshav on (April 4, 2011, 8:35 GMT)

275 was never going to be enough... the way mahela, kulasekhara and perere batted in second half of their innings... there was a feeling that wickat was becoming easier. Though india lose early wickets..but the middle order was never threatened by any of the srilankan bowler. I think srilanka made a tactical blunder by playing Suraj Randiv, just to make their batting a bit deeper. Too many changes in their side also didn't helped srilankan cause

Posted by Ashok on (April 4, 2011, 6:22 GMT)

pakistani and lankan fans were baying at india's success since long ! Debated a lot about the test and odi rankings. Now its time friends to choose the second best asian team. I would rather like to throw light on the fact that "SL lost to INDIA and PAKISTAN and didnt play against BANGLADESH in the WC-2011". So its upto to you all cricinfo-followers to make a selection..!!

Posted by Rudrajit on (April 4, 2011, 5:58 GMT)

The thing is India won the final by batting, bowling and fielding better than the Lankans. It was only the sublime brilliance of Mahela that made it competitive. The rest of the Lankans were very ordinary led by the misplaced arrogance of Sangakara (imagine the humility by pronouncing at the toss interview that any total would be enough to win)...he might have a cute accent but is no where in the league of the Great Arjuna Ranatunga. Leaving Jayasuriya out was a crime. Murali (the great one) didnt have support..and the Indians just saw him through. Suraj Randiv hasnt done anything except bowl that infamous no ball to make the powers that be to drop Ajantha Mendis. Even Herath wouldve been great. I know it hurts when you lose 2 finals but the problem i feel lies at the top.

Posted by Rohit on (April 4, 2011, 4:04 GMT)

Being an Indian, I congratulate MSD and the Indian team for winning us athe world cup. For the Srilankan fans i wold like to say that there were selection blunders from both sides as MSD made big mistake in opting Sreesanth for Ashwin and Sanga opting Randiv for Herath/Mendis. Also Sanga did the right thing in holding a few overs of Murali and Malinga as firstly Murali was making no impact whatsoever and secondly he was expected MSD to get out and put pressure on a spin-weak Yuvraj to follow. I think Sanga was shell shocked by MSD's unexpected captain's knock. He was planning ahead for the part of the Indian batting to follow which never arrived.

Posted by Lakpriya on (April 4, 2011, 3:20 GMT)

Bring on Chandimal, he avgs close to 60 in first class cricket. he is the next Mahela of SL.furthermore there is Thirimanne, Karunarathe and Bhanuka (great Wasim Akram calls him as someone special), kaushalSilva and a set of talented players (group of good fast bowlers who bowl close to 145kph) waiting in the A and Jnr teams.Now is the time to start giving these guys a go and prepare them for the future.Enough of experiments with samaraweera and Silva.Kapugedara is proving to be a real waste of a talent.Start grooming a team for 2015 cause Dilshan, Mahela and Sanga are of same age and may retire at the same time.it will be a huge loss then.Aravinda it is your responsibility to do this.

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