India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday hit out at former Australia skipper Ian Chappell for his comments that India does not have champion bowlers to sustain their No 1 Test status.
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 No 1 not only due to our batting, but because our bowlers also did their jobs well," he said.
He said just because the bowlers struggled a bit doesn't mean they have become pedestrian overnight.
"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 the Test No 1 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 the 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 No 1 team because they lacked at least two champion bowlers.