Former Indian speedster Javagal Srinath opens up on India’s performance in the 2003 World Cup, which marked the end of his international career. The retired paceman could have enjoyed a perfect ending, but it was the Australian team, who clinched their third and second consecutive World Cup in Johannesburg. 17 years after that final, Javagal Srinath admits what they could have done differently.
The Australians, led by Ricky Ponting, were undeniably the juggernauts of that edition. While teams like Pakistan, England, and New Zealand put them in a spot of bother, they managed to snatch victories somehow, lifting the World Cup undefeated. But the final turned out as a one-sided contest. Electing to field first, India were left to chase 360 against a potent bowling attack. Virender Sehwag top-scored with 82 in a losing effort by 125 runs.
After Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden put 105 for the opening wicket, Ponting joined hands with Damien Martyn to add 234, having lost only two wickets by the end of the innings. The Indian pacers including Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, and Ashish Nehra took a beating, conceding 211 runs. The Australian skipper took the man of the match for his unbeaten 140, the then highest score in a World Cup final.
Speaking of the same, the Mysore Express lauded their opponents, labelling them as the better side amongst the two. Srinath reckoned that the Indian team had to play out of their skin to outplay the Aussies to have a chance at the title. He also contemplated whether India should have batted first, a decision for which Ganguly faced criticism aplenty.
“We had a chat about it – should we have batted first? But those are all hindsight expertise of what we bring post the match. I just think they were the better side. The same team had won the previous World Cup as well. I think all of us needed to play twice our potential. Probably that could have been the best way.” the cricketer-turned-referee stated as quoted by Hindustan Times.
You can’t expect everything to happen in life: Javagal Srinath
The 50-year old, who conceded 87 runs in ten overs in the tournament-decider, went on to say that Australia were the best side and no other team could get closer to them and deserved winners. Javagal Srinath admitted that winning that game would have been a feather on the cap but one cannot except to go everything their way.
“We could have won the 2003 World Cup final but we were up against the best side in the world. They were on a roll and nobody could even get closer to them. We lost the final and I couldn’t do much in that match either. Winning that final could have been a real feather in my career but you can’t expect everything to happen in life,” Srinath added.