Mumbai: India's batting strength is such that even a total of 300 would not have been enough to defend, said Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara after his team's defeat to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men in the final of the World Cup on Saturday night.
"When you have such an awesome batting line-up, even 300 is not enough," Sangakkara said.
"(Their) batting is unbelievable, best in ODI cricket, MS is very intelligent, very smart."
"Gambhir is one of the best players I have seen as a left-hander, and he had that partnership with Virat. MS knew what he had to do," he added.
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 19h over, we knew they had 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. "He (Mendis) was an option we were thinking of. We were forced to change the line-up for Angelo Mathhews. 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 Jayawarsene'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 while reiterating his take on India's batting.
On the field the 1996 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," he said.
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. Not a great feeling."
Despite the heart-breaking loss after coming so close, he 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."
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 anymore, but his heart is with us.
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