x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

The better side won, says Dhoni

Mahendra Dhoni's 27th birthday celebrations yesterday were muted by the fact his India side still cannot shake their cup final hoodoo.

The Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara (right) celebrates the dismissal of Indian batsman Suresh Raina during The Asia Cup final.
The Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara (right) celebrates the dismissal of Indian batsman Suresh Raina during The Asia Cup final.

karachi // Mahendra Dhoni's 27th birthday celebrations yesterday were muted by the fact his India side still cannot shake their cup final hoodoo. India were the dominant force at the Asia Cup in Pakistan and had breezed past Sri Lanka in their group match in the lead-up to Sunday's final. However, they imploded just when the real prizes were about to be given out, as they went down to a 100-run defeat.

Dhoni looked on the brighter side as he said: "Some sides don't even reach finals. It is always good when you are playing in big tournaments these to reach the finals. This side never had the experience of reaching the finals. We took it as just another game." Dhoni, who did not deserve to be on the losing team following an outstanding tournament as captain and with the bat, preferred to credit the Sri Lankans for their victory, rather than apportion blame to his side.

"It is a young side, and we have reached two finals," added the India captain. "We lost, not because we played badly. When we win, we win comprehensively, but there will be times when the other side plays well because this is international cricket." @Email:pradley@thenational.ae