India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has hit out at former Australia skipper Ian Chappell for his comments that India do not have champion bowlers to sustain their Test number one status.
Talking to reporters after the team lost the tri-series final against Sri Lanka on Wednesday night, Dhoni defended his bowlers and said Chappell was unnecessarily harsh in his judgement.
"It is not a fair statement. I agree that our bowlers are struggling now. But we have become the Test number one also because of the bowlers and not only due to our batting," Dhoni said.
He contended that just because the bowlers struggled a bit doesn't mean they have overnight become pedestrian.
"Sometimes batsmen struggle and sometimes bowlers. It is not fair to say that we don't have good bowlers. We will prove it (that we can sustain Test number one status)," he added.
Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara also sided with Dhoni and said India have top-class bowlers in pacer Zaheer Khan and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
"Of course, India has top-class bowlers. Zaheer is one of the best fast bowlers in the world and Harbhajan is top-class. Even S Sreesanth can bowl reverse swing," said Sangakkara.
"There are always critics and doubters but it is your job to prove them wrong," he added.
Chappell had earlier said that he did not rate India a long-term number one team because they lacked at least two champions bowlers.