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Hundred Special As It Came In Series Clincher: Gambhir

Vadodara, Dec 4: Back to form after a lean patch, stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir today described his match-winning unbeaten 126 as a special ton as it has helped India clinch the five-match ODI series against
PTI December 04, 2010 17:56 IST
PTI
Vadodara, Dec 4: Back to form after a lean patch, stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir today described his match-winning unbeaten 126 as a special ton as it has helped India clinch the five-match ODI series against New Zealand here.

"All hundreds are important. This was probably special because it helped us win the series. Moreover, it is always important to be back amongst runs, especially after having a series of low scores against your name," said Gambhir, who is leading the side in place of rested regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Gambhir, who hit his second successive century to steer India to a nine-wicket win over New Zealand in the third One-dayer here, said it was important not to give the Black Caps any chance to bounce back in the series.

"It was important for us not to give any opportunity to New Zealand to come back into the ODI series and wrap it up here itself," said Gambhir after India take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Gambhir scored an unbeaten 126 off 117 balls to help India chase down easily the target of 225 set by New Zealand with 10.3 overs to spare in the one-sided encounter. He had also starred in India's eight-wicket victory in the second ODI in Jaipur, hitting an unbeaten 138 off 116 balls.

Praising the bowlers for their efforts to restrict the Kiwis to a total of 224, Gambhir particularly singled out Zaheer Khan (2/31) and Munaf Patel (1/28).

"Zaheer is a quality bowler. His presence always boosts the side. He set the game for us straightaway today after coming back from an injury, as he sent back Brendon McCullum (0) and Ross Taylor (4) early. Then spinners also did a good job," said Gambhir.

"Munaf has been very economical in all the matches so far. He has been doing well in the Ranji also and he is carrying on that confidence into these matches also, which is a great sign."

Two more inconsequential matches to go with the fourth game to be played in Bangalore, followed by fifth tie in Chennai, Gambhir is not ready to lower his guard. PTI