Losing World Cup 2003 final biggest disappointment of my life, says Sachin Tendulkar

Batting Great Tendulkar on Sunday recalled the heartbreaking World Cup final loss in 2003, saying the final vs Australia was one of the most disappointing moments in his celebrated cricket career.

India, under Sourav Ganguly, were one step away from emulating Kapil’s Devils but faltered in the final hurdle. India were impressive throughout the campaign as they recovered well after a 9-wicket thrashing to Australia in their second match.

Sachin Tendulkar led from the front with the bat and scored 673 runs in 11 matches — which still is a World Cup record for the most number of runs scored in a single edition of the quadrennial cricket tournament.

However, Team India capitulated in the final after Australia took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners after being sent in to bat. Ricky Ponting smashed 140 from 121 balls and Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist hit fifties as Australia posted a mammoth 359 for 2 in 50 overs.

In reply, India  lost their star batsman Sachin Tendulkar for 5 in the first over of the chase. Tendulkar was caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath in the 5th ball of India’s chase. Virender Sehwag’s valiant 82 went in vain as India were bundled out for 234 in just 39.4 overs.

Speaking at Salaam Cricket at Lord’s on Sunday, Tendulkar said India’s aggressive outlook to the final backfired.

“Yes, there was regret. It was one of the biggest disappointments of my life because we played so well in that tournament. Before that our batsmen were not in good space because we played in New Zealand were they prepared lively pitches,” Tendulkar said.

“When we went to South Africa we started gaining confidence with every match. The only team that we lost to in that entire tournament was Australia.

“I felt we were charged up in the finals, maybe a bit too much. Sometimes when your aggression is not controlled, the result tends to go the other way then. If given a chance again we would approach that game differently.”

Tendulkar shared the stage with former arch-rival and good friend, Wasim Akram at Salam Cricket.

Akram recalled his early-career rivalry with Sachin Tendulkar, saying the Pakistan team knew the India batsman was “special” right from the time the teenager toured his neighbouring country.

“Tried sledging Sachin Tendulkar but then we realised he would not react. Akhtar tried, Waqar tried. Some guys would get upset but Sachin would get more motivated. I remember when India were about to come to Pakistan – we heard about a young sensation coming from India. And we thought how could a 16-year-old boy playing Test cricket be so good?”

 

Courtesy : India Today

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