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Dhoni not happy with scheduling of matches

Colombo: As India slumped to their worst defeat — by 139 runs — against Sri Lanka on their soil, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that nothing went right for his team at the Premadasa stadium on Saturday.

Chasing a target of 308, the visitors were bundled out for 168 in 37.2 overs with all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, claiming six for 26. It was also the best figures by a Sri Lankan pacer against India.

“It was a bad day in the office… Nothing went right for us from the very beginning. We lost the toss and then they got off to a good start. But credit goes to them for putting up a brilliant performance. First their batsmen did well and then Mathews was brilliant,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni also expressed his dissatisfaction over the scheduling of matches. “The format is very demanding. After playing Friday, the bowlers had to again comeback and bowl 10 overs today (Saturday). Our losing the toss also didn’t help.”

It may be recalled that the BCCI requested the SLC to reschedule India’s matches so that the players could take part in the Corporate Trophy.

But he said that he was pleased with the effort. “We lost the match. But I’m pleased with the effort. We are not at the point where we need to be in international cricket. But we are working on that.”

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, however, said that he wasn’t aware of that bit statistics and the victory was more important for him. “Well, that’s news for me… I didn’t know that this is the biggest defeat in Sri Lanka. But what is more important is to get the process right on the field. The start, the middle order, batsmen going on to play a long innings and then to comeback and do good fielding and bowling is absolutely necessary,” he said.

He praised his batsmen for their impressive display on Saturday. “We did play well today. It was great to see Sanath played such a great innings and then the middle order carried the good work excellently and we were successful in finishing the match off,” Sangakkara quipped.

Praising Mathews he said: “He is very solid. He is young but has a matured thinking process. He is the all-rounder we were looking for. But talent is one thing and real hard work and performing is another. So, he should keep up the good work.

According to Mathews, pitching the ball in the right spot did the trick. “I just pitched it in the right spot… The ball did the rest,” he said. Asked what kind of an all-rounder — batting or bowling — he was, Mathews smiled and said: “ I’m a genuine all-rounder!”

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