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13-Sep-2009 16:41:00 GMT
Sri lanka v India, Compaq Cup Final, Colombo

Toss Will be Crucial in the Final - Dhoni

Colombo: After slumping to a humiliating defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said toss will play a vital role in Monday's final of the tri-nation series against the hosts.

India lost to Sri Lanka by 139 runs last night in their second match of the tournament, thereby ending their brief stay at the number one position in the ICC ODI rankings.

But Dhoni said it was just an off-day for the team in the office and feels whoever comes out lucky with the toss of coin at the R Premadasa wicket on Monday will have an edge in the title clash.

"In venues like this, toss plays a crucial role. If you win the toss then 60 per cent of the game is in your favour," Dhoni said.

The Indian skipper said his side's bowling department needs to pull up its socks and avoid giving away a good start to the Sri Lankans, a mistake which proved costly for them on Saturday.

"If you are bowling first, then the bowlers must ensure that the opposition don't get off to a big start.

"I think we are not bowling in the right areas. We are either too short or too full. Hopefully yesterday's match would be a learning experience for us," Dhoni said.

"I think on a venue like this, you need to restrict the opposition to 230-240 which is a good target to chase. The wicket here always plays better in the afternoon compared to evening. I think 300 was a bit too much to score but still we could have done a lot better than what we did," Dhoni added.

India had an optional practice session today and most of the players preferred to rest after two back-to-back matches. However, vice-captain Yuvraj Singh alongwith fringe players Virat Kohli and Praveen Kumar turned up at the nets.

Dhoni also rued the absence of his regular opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who missed the tournament due to injury and said the batting department was badly missing the duo's services.

"It is better off to have an opening batsman in the 15, but unfortunately we don't really have one. So whatever resources we have for the series we will look to exploit that.

"It is perhaps the first time that Sehwag and Gambhir are not playing in a series. I think it becomes difficult to immediately search for another batsman," Dhoni said.

Sachin Tendulkar and wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik opened batting in the first two matches, but the latter failed to grab the opportunity that came his way, scoring just 4 and 16 in his two outings.

Dhoni, however, refused to divulge any information about the playing eleven for Monday's match.

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