The Sri Lankan team celebrate their victory against Australia in Melbourne on Friday. (Getty Images)
Mumbai: Former Australia fast bowler Geoff Lawson has said that Sri Lanka have got revenge for their World Cup loss to India by eliminating Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men from the CB Series with a nail-biting nine-run win against Australia on Friday.
However, Lawson felt India can draw positives despite failing to qualify for the best-of-three finals. "I was expecting good cricket in the CB Series. Australia are always strong at home, and you had the two World Cup finalists (in India and Sri Lanka). It was always going to come down to the last game. Sri Lanka have got revenge for their World Cup loss to India. They must be thrilled about that.
"But, India must not feel disheartened because they played some good cricket towards the latter stages of the series. The likes of Kohlis, Gambhirs, Dhonis and Praveen Kumars will be crucial in the 2015 World Cup in Australia. This tournament was a great advertisement for one-day cricket," Lawson told MiD DAY.
Lawson sympathised with David Hussey, who struck 74 for Australia on Friday. "David is a very fine player. He's had to wait so many years to cement his place in the side. It must have been tough to end up on the losing side despite playing such a knock," he said of Hussey, who finished the round robin stage as the leading run-getter with 412 runs.
Lawson, who is in Pune for a coaching assignment for Global Cricket School, praised Sri Lanka for bouncing back after two opening losses. "I saw their opening two games at Perth (Feb 8 and Feb 10) when they started out poorly. I had a feeling they would bounce back strongly. They are a very proud side, and weren't going to just sit back and relax. I knew that Lasith Malinga would bounce back after Hobart (when he conceded 96 runs from 7.4 overs against India). They have beaten Australia three times in a row, so the finals series could go either way," he said.
Leave Sachin alone
Meanwhile, Lawson backed the Indian selectors' decision to include Sachin Tendulkar in the squad for the Asia Cup. "He played really well in the Test series. Though he couldn't get his hundred, I enjoyed his batting all through the summer. Maybe, he can take some rest after a long tour of Australia. If there was one batsman in world cricket who deserves to be given that license to retire whenever, it's Tendulkar. He's still one of the best," said Lawson, who witnessed the four-Test series that preceded the ongoing CB Series.