India dominate Sri Lankan spin kings: Gambhir

Published: Saturday, February 7, 2009, 9:06 [IST]
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India overcame spin blues: Gambhir

Colombo: India's new batting sensation Gautam Gambhir says the main reason for his team's success in Sri Lanka is the way his team-mates have successfuly tackled skilful spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis.

"I think the way we have played Mendis and Murali is just incredible," Gambhir said after being named man of the match for his career-best 150 in the fourth one-day international.

India are leading 4-0 in the ongoing five-match series.

"The way our batsman, especially Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virender Sehwag, have played Mendis and Murali is fantastic. We are 4-0 up and hope to make it 5-0," said Gambhir.

Off-spin genius Muralitharan and unorthodox spinner Mendis have so far taken just three wickets apiece.

Yuvraj and Sehwag scored centuries in the third one-dayer on Tuesday, while skipper Dhoni missed a hundred by just six runs on Thursday.

Mendis played a major role in his team's Test series win over India at home last year, taking 26 wickets -- the best by any bowler in a debut three-match series. He was well-supported by Muralitharan, who took 21 wickets.

"The way Mendis and Murali bowled against us in the last Test series, it was important for us to handle them well," said Gambhir.

"Mendis is a bit different. When you play someone like him for the first time you need a little bit of time to adjust yourself. Unfortunately, it was us who played him for the first time.

"Now we have had a good look at what he does and what he doesn't. The way we have played him a second time is just fantastic."

Gambhir said his hundred on Thursday was one of his best knocks and he hoped to maintain his form in coming matches.

"Each hundred is important, but in the end it is the win that matters. It's very satisfying because everyone had said it was tough to get a hundred in Sri Lanka. So I can say it's one of my best knocks," said Gambhir.

"It's important to start the year with such a knock. You can carry the momentum throughout the year. I wanted to get a big score here because the New Zealand tour is coming up."

Gambhir said his team were keen to make a clean sweep with a victory in the fifth and final one-dayer here on Sunday. India have already won nine matches in a row, including 5-0 against England at home last year.

"When you are playing for your country you cannot take any game lightly. It's going to be a fantastic achievement if we can make it 5-0," said Gambhir, who has so far made 2,411 runs in 68 one-dayers with six centuries.

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