Kolkata: Elated after guiding India to a facile, series-clinching win against Sri Lanka, star batsman Gautam Gambhir said he would rate the unbeaten 150 as the best innings of his career so far. He also expressed satisfaction of staying till the end and guiding the team to victory.
“This is the first time I finished a game remaining unbeaten. It was important for me to get going and convert it into a big one. It feels great that I finished the game,” Gambhir said after being named as the man of the match for the Kolkata contest.
It was a brilliantly paced innings by the left-hander who added 224 runs with Virat Kohli (107) for the third wicket to put India’s chase back on track.
Explaining his early caution, Gambhir said, “While chasing it’s always important to have wickets in hand. When you have wickets in hand, it’s always easy to chase down about 130 in the last 15 overs.”
India’s win came without regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is serving a two-match ban, and star batsman Yuvraj Singh, who is nursing an injured finger.
Gambhir said the series-clinching victory was made possible by the team’s impressive bench strength.
“We have enough guys in the bench who can prove themselves even in the absence of great players like Dhoni and Yuvraj,” Gambhir said.
India’s stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag too stressed the strong bench strength of Team India, saying their success will augur well for India in the 2011 World Cup.
“It’s very important that youngsters like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, and Ravindra Jadeja get going and play 18-19 matches ahead of the World Cup in 2011. If we get the full-strength side we can win the World Cup,” said Sehwag.
The skipper was also effusive in his praise for Gambhir and Virat, who scripted India’s 7-wicket victory at the Eden Gardens with a brilliant 224-run stand.
“Virat is very talented. It’s good to see him play such a knock. And thanks to Gautam Gambhir for guiding Virat Kohli.