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Sri Lanka’s former skipper Kumar Sangakkara has revealed that he would have selected to field first after winning the toss if all-rounder Angelo Mathews had been fit for the 2011 World Cup final. Mathews had played a key role in the semi-final contest against New Zealand as he scored an unbeaten knock of 14 runs to take his team into their second World Cup final on the trot.
However, the all-rounder suffered quadriceps muscle injury before the final and he had to be left out of the final XI. Subsequently, off-spinner Suraj Randiv had replaced Angelo Mathews in the playing XI. In fact, Mathews could have also contributed with the ball and would have added a great balance to the Sri Lankan side while batting at number seven.
Kumar Sangakkara – Not sure whether the result would have changed
On the other hand, there was a bit of confusion at the time of toss as MS Dhoni was not able to hear Sangakkara’s call of ‘head’ on the first occasion. Ergo, it was decided to redo the toss, and Sangakkara decided to bat first after winning the toss.
Meanwhile, it is generally expected that a captain who wins the toss in a big match like the World Cup final decides to bat first as it is never easy to chase a target under pressure in the final. In fact, Sangakkara admitted that Dhoni might have also batted first had he won the toss in the World Cup final.
“In that WC final, that’s the biggest thing I look back and think…You can talk about drop catches and all of that happens. But the composition of the side and the fact that we were forced to make the change was to be the turning point,” Sangakkara told Ravichandran Ashwin as while appearing on his Instagram series ‘Reminisce with Ash’.
“But for 100 percent, if Angelo (Mathews) had been fit, I know for sure we would have gone for chase… I’m not sure whether the result would have changed. That balance of the team that Mathews would give at seven really was a bonus,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka was able to post 274 runs after Mahela Jayawardene scored a fine century. India was under the pressure especially after losing two early wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
The hosts had to create history as this was going to be the highest World Cup run-chase in the final. Gautam Gambhir scored a fine knock of 91 runs whereas MS Dhoni smashed 91 runs to help India bag their second World Cup.