Colombo:India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday said the 139-run loss to Sri Lanka was one of the worst days for him in office and hoped to bounce back strongly in the final of the Compaq Cup tri-nation series against the same opponents on Monday.
"It was the worst day for us. We didn't start well neither in bowling nor in batting. The Sri Lankans started very well. Sanath (Jayasuriya) along with Dilshan gave them the perfect start with the bat and then Angelo Mathews came good with the ball," a disappointed Dhoni said after the match.
"The only thing that went for us was the warm up session. Right from the toss nothing went for us. It is the worst day in office and hopefully we will have good day during the final," he said after Sri Lankan humiliated India by 139-run in the inconsequential match here.
Asked whether playing back-to-back matches had anything to do with the defeat, the India skipper said, "The format itself is quite demanding, especially for the fast bowlers, but thats the way it goes in international cricket. I am satisfied with the effort put in by all the players."
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara lauded veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, who returned to form with a blistering 98 and Angelo Mathews, who wreaked the Indian batting line up with figures of 6 for 20, for the victory.
"We played very well. It is great to see Sanath coming back to form. We had a good solid start and then the middle order did the finishing job but I feel we lost too many wickets at crucial times.
"Today was an important win for us. Every win builds the momentum of the team towards the next match, but whatever happened today, irrespective of that we need turn up on Monday and perform, if not better than equivalent to what we did today," Sangakkara said.
He was especially full of praise for Mathews. "He is a very very solid player. For someone who is so young he has got a very mature thinking process. He is the all-rounder we were looking for. We are looking for consistent performances from him to cement his place in the team," Sangakkara said.
"Angelo is on the right track but I hope he won't get carried away and continue to put in hardwork." Man-of-the-match Mathews, whose notched up the best figures by a Sri Lankan bowler against India today, said he was happy to contribute with the ball.
"Obviously it was my day today. I was just trying to land the ball in the right areas and the ball did the rest. "I take every game as just another game and I want to do well in every match. I couldn't perform with the bat today, so it is always nice to cover that with the ball," said Mathews.