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Depleted bowling did India in: Dhoni

February 08, 2009 19:24 IST

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday blamed lack of bowling resources for their defeat to Sri Lanka in the fifth and final international in Colombo, which halted their stupendous nine-match winning run.

India had rested key players such as pacer Zaheer Khan, spinner Pragyan Ojha and batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar but Dhoni said it was crucial to try out youngsters with the series already in their pocket.

"Our bowling was not strong. But it was good to have a go at the guys who had not played. [Ravindra] Jadeja got a chance see what international cricket is all about and how tough it can be sometimes," Dhoni said after 68-run loss which prevented them from making a clean-sweep of the series.

"Overall it was good, though we lost [today], we won the series," he added.

The Indian captain dedicated the series win to his team-mates, who, he says back each other and enjoy each others success.

"The overall team morale is good. It's important to have good dressing room atmosphere and guys back each other and enjoy each other's success.

"Whenever I needed them they were there, whether I needed a batsman or a bowler [to perform]. So I dedicate this win to my teammates. Hopefully, we will continue to win more tournaments," Dhoni said.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene praised his top-order bastmen for helping Sri Lanka register a consolation win.

"We had spoken to the guys. We were disappointed after four defeats. I think the wicket played a big role... Sanath [Jayasuriya] and Tilakaratne [Dilshan] gave us a good platform to push for 300 and once we reached there we had advantage.

"Though Indians have a very good batting line up we managed to pick wickets. They are one of the best sides, they played really well and were deserved [series] winners".

The Sri Lankan skipper said his team-mates were determined to win the final match in the view of their upcoming Pakistan Test tour.

"Everyone realised and put heart and soul into it. We had not come here to lose but we were up against a very good side. We came back and won that showed the character and that is what is required of the guys.

"Now we are looking forward to the Pakistan tour, hopefully we will do well there," he said.

Yuvraj Singh, adjudged man-of-the-series for scoring 284 run in the five-match series, credited his good show to the tips he got from Tendulkar.

"This [award] is second in a row. But I had a bad series last time here. There was little doubt about playing the spinners. A big thanks to Sachin and the coaching staff, who helped me out. I played to my strength," he said.

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