Dhoni wants to finish series 5-0

He might have become the first Indian skipper to win nine one-day matches in a row but Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hungry for more.

updated: February 05, 2009 18:08 IST
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He might have become the first Indian skipper to win nine one-day matches in a row but Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hungry for more and wants to finish the series against Sri Lanka with a 5-0 scoreline.

"I am happy for the ninth win (on the trot) but if we can add one more to it, it would be great," Dhoni said after India's 67-run win over Sri Lanka in the fourth match here on Thursday night.

Dhoni promoted himself to number three in this match and came out with a magnificent 94-run knock.

He missed the well deserved century as he batted aggressively in the nineties but justified the game plan.

"There was a ball change in the 34th over and we had to take the second power-play as well. So I thought one of the batsmen had to quickly get his hundred and capitalise in the power-play," he said.

Talking about his batting up the order, he said, "I had not batted at number three for a long time. We had a long batting line up with (Irfan) Pathan coming at number eight. So I thought I should bat at the top order," he said.

Man-of-the-match Gautam Gambhir, who scored a blistering 150, said it was just the right platform for him to score a big hundred.

"I was always hitting the bowl well in the series and it was a perfect platform for me as we were already 3-0 up in the series and with Sehwag and Dhoni I just needed to play within myself and didn't have to do anything else," he said.

The left-hander also gave credit to Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten for his performance for his sensational comeback to the international circuit last year.

"2008 has been good for me. Credit goes to Dhoni who has given me a lot of confidence and security to play my natural game. Also Kirstsen is the best coach India ever had and I hope under them I can continue my good show in 2009 as well."

Gambhir also lavished praise on his opening partner Virender Sehwag.

"With Viru (Sehwag) one do not need to think much. He takes care of the scoreboard and the run-rate so the only thing I have to do is take my time and score runs in my scoring areas," he said.

Dhoni lauded his teammates for playing as a unit.

"Cricket is a team sport and we are playing as a team, we want to enjoy as a unit and keep hunting as a pack and it is important that we continue doing that," he said.

The losing skipper Mahela Jayawardene admitted that it was always tough for them to make a comeback in the match after the Indian innings had ended with an imposing total.

"Chasing 300 something is always tough. We lost wicket at regular intervals and once the pitch get slower it is difficult to score. It was really tough," he said.

"You need to strike a balance as to when to consolidate. Credit to them, they batted well and made life difficult for us," he said.

Jayawardene also felt that India had advantage to bowl in better conditions, saying. "Unfortunately, our guys did not have the option of bowling in the night. They took the advantage. But we have to keep our heads high and improve."