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CRICKET WORLD CUP 2003 / HAVE YOUR SAY
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Sunday, 23 March, 2003, 15:37 GMT

How do you rate Aussie display?

Australia retain the Cricket World Cup after crushing India by 125 runs in Johannesburg.

Sourav Ganguly's decision to field first in the World Cup final backfired dramatically as the Aussies racked up a whopping 359-2, their highest ever one-day score.


The result sees Australia become the first side to go through an entire World Cup undefeated; a performance that will rank Ricky Ponting's side among the greatest ever in one-day cricket.

But some would argue that India's incompetent bowling display, rather than Australia's excellent batting one, was the main contributing factor to such a one-sided defeat.

Did Australia win the World Cup final - or did India lose it?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appears below.


Toss, wicket, day, blah blah blah. Nothing would have mattered to this awesome Aussie line-up. They will take apart any team nine out of 10 times. So don't blame Ganguly.

But what is interesting is the way the India team has performed. I think that they have replaced SA as the second best team in the world. And Sachin failed on a day when it mattered most. Nothing unusual about that either.

And I can only dread the plight of the other teams if the Aussies get better and better as their daring and unconventional coach has said.
Ram, USA

The Australians deserve to be champions. They clearly proved the fact that mere technical ability is not enough when it comes to big games, but superior mental strength is probably more important. The difference between the finalists was not so much in their abilities as it was in their attitude.
Sundi, CA, USA

Congratulations to the Australian cricket team as they played like champions. In the final they made a mockery of Indian bowling. They are deserved winners after all.
Adnan Mujib, Toronto,Canada

It was good to see the Aussies won despite the fact Warne wasn't playing. It shows the team is just as good, if not better without him.
D Cooper, Melbourne

If the Aussies can beat India who are in great form then they are the best team in the world.
Jayaprakash, Bangalore

" Only Clive Lloyd's West Indians at their best could have given them an even match "
Colin Hocking, Australia

Australia is my favourite team. Although they don't have Waugh, Warne, Gillespie they still played fantastically. I like their spirit. Ricky Ponting was excellent and they have the best players in world.
Fan of Aussies, India

India didn't lose the game, Australia won it. This is an outstanding professional side whose hard work and dedication has raised the bar.
Drew, Australia

By far! Australia is the best cricket team in the world, playing without the best bowler in the world, {Warne} and missing one of their best seamers was a big disadvantage which they overcame.
Zepton Greaves, Canada

The Australians scored 3 for 487 at 6.7 an over against India in two matches yet India's bowlers were good enough to make the Final. That just about sums up the difference between the Australian team and the rest.

I can only assume there are more records to be broken in the trip to the Windies.
Geoff, Gold Coast, Australia

What a great World Cup for Australia. Only Clive Lloyd's West Indians at their best could have given them an even match. Congratulations to Ricky Ponting and his team for entertaining this Aussie through many sleepless nights.
Colin Hocking, Australia

Aussie's are the best. They can't be defeated by anyone not even India. They have world class players.
Cute Girl, USA

Indian bowlers conceded nearly 500 runs and took just three wickets in their two matches against Australia. How can someone say India had the best bowling attack? I think even Kenyan attack is far more superior than the Indians.
Jaya, Canada

" Australia is the best side in the world "
Haniff Ismail, South Africa

I feel the Aussies are the best. They are way ahead of the other teams. With such quality they are bound to win some World Cups in the coming years.
Sandeep, USA

Australia deserve to be champions because the way they have been playing throughout the competition and the in the year leading up to the world cup.
Makana, Taiwan

The Australians are simply world class, they destroyed India.
Chris Hall, London

Australia is the best side in the world, Sourav Ganguly's decision to field first in the World Cup final cost his side the World Cup.

To top it up his side's bowling attack and batting was pathetic. 700 runs could have been easily scored in the Wanderers pitch.
Haniff Ismail, South Africa

" India were crushed by Australia "
Pat Mistry, Corona, CA

The current Aussie team is, undoubtedly, the best. They are totally professional in all aspects of the game and their approach to each game.

The World Cup final win was helped by a very strong desire by the Aussies to win and inept bowling by the Indian team.
Muhammad Abdullah, Malaysia

India lost this match because they came out thinking negatively, if they had batted and scored 260 runs then they would have had a chance of beating the Aussies in the tournament.
Anjum Muqaddam, Saudi Arabia

Bowling killed India. They lost the match from the very first ball of the over. The Indian team, though very talented, sure lack mental strength!
Sandeep, CA, USA

India were crushed by Australia. Their advantage to bowl first was blown away by the irresponsible bowlers, which left no hope for the Indian batsmen. Next time India!
Pat Mistry, Corona, CA

No Waugh's, No Gillespie, No Warne - NO WORRIES!
David, Melbourne, Australia

Ganguly has no courage to face the mighty Australians, first after winning the toss. The roaring "Bengal Tiger" turned up as a "Calm Cat" in the hands of the "Aussie Kangaroo".
Ramesh Raghuraman, Sydney, Australia

The Aussies are way ahead of everyone else these days. They just don't seem to have any weaknesses.
John Burden, UK

Looking at the recent performance of the Aussies, there's no doubt that this team is the best ever. The gulf between other sides and Australia were evident in the WC when the Aussies demolished everyone in their path with ruthless ease.

They can only get better with each match, a point well made by their coach John Buchanan. God save the other nations if Aussies improve their performance three folds than the current.
Nitin, Bangalore, India

A great display from the Aussies, yes, but they surely would have struggled to make the final had they met England in the Super Sixes, after we very nearly and should have beaten them by some way in the first group phase.
Oliver Leggett, Nottingham

India choked and the game was lost when Ganguly decided to field. Australia were simply awesome.
Kamran B, London

" India needed a world class spinner, which Harbhajan is not "
Khawaja, USA

I feel sad because we did not win the cup during Sachin's best years. He is already 29, and we will have to wait for four more years to make another attempt. And, there is no guarantee that we will reach the finals in the next World Cup.

Indians, both fans and other players, owe a lot to this little genius for making us all feel proud. Once we were in the finals, I was so sure that other players would give their 100% to win the cup and dedicate it to Sachin. Our other players lost a once in a life time opportunity to express the nation's gratitude to Sachin.
Anil, USA

I don't think it would have made any difference whether India batted or bowled first, the bottom line is that the Aussies (as much as it hurts to say it!) were head and shoulders above every other team in the tournament.
Scott, Herts

India needed a world class spinner, which Harbhajan is not and another one like Shastri, as India's seamers are as average as it gets. The only thing that the Australians can't handle is quality spin or Shane Bond quality pace, both of which India didn't have.

Once you let a team score 300 in a final, your goose is both cooked and well-done. I don't see Zaheer with much of a future. Nehra, on the other hand, with his physique and bowling action, may become a major wicket-taker in the future.

India needs a stronger, much more aggressive captain than they have now. I can't believe that a country that had Bedi, Venkat, Prasanna and Chandrashekar at one stage can't produce ONE world class spinner!
Khawaja, USA

The Indian bowlers obviously felt the heat, and when you bowl short of a length and wide of the stump you can't expect not to be hit clear of the boundary. From the word go; the strain was showing on the Indian bowlers.

The expected pace attack of Nehra and Khan failed as much as Tendulkar's batting. It was like a top of the range car failing to start.

The Indian team have talent and on any other day I believe that they would easily have beaten the Aussies. It just wasn't to be, and I feel that the pressure of the occasion really got to the players.
Chris Chan, Ely

" Don't be too harsh on the Indian team "
Campbell, Australia

Ganguly blew it by fielding first. India were not at their best. India lost it and Australia happily snatched it from India's hands!
Cricket lover, Russia

Imagine what they could have done with Warne, Gillespie and the Waugh¿s in the team!
Chand Patel, Kennington

Though I was educated in India, and have cheered for them since day one, Australia thoroughly deserved to win. Aspects that other teams should learn from them are their team spirit, physical fitness, positive attitude, and most important of all, all 11 players having excellent bowling, batting and fielding skills.
Nandhini K, Canada.

Hey Indian fans! Don't be too harsh on the Indian team. They are clearly the second best one-day team in the world. Despite losing, I think they covered themselves in glory against Australia.
Campbell, Australia

Well I think India were comprehensively beaten. It wasn't a bad decision to make Australia bat first after winning the toss. But the new ball Indian bowlers couldn't rise to the occasion, and they let their team, country and captain down. That's where the Aussies took the initiative and never allowed India to come back into the match.
Asim Husain Khan, Karachi, Pakistan

" India lost to a great side and we should be proud of what we achieved "
Umesh Patel, UK

India lost World Cup rather than the Aussies won. They totally surrendered right from the beginning and never put up any fight. Brilliant team work by the Aussies, shameful and thoughtless response from the so-called best team of India
Rashmi Patel, London

Although this Australia team is very good and very professional they do not strike fear into the heart of the opposition like the West Indies used to do.

Cast your minds back, Senior used to decline to tour in the West Indies - it was just pure fear, and not family commitment as most of them used to say!
Sultan Mahmood, Coventry, UK

The Aussies played superb all through the World Cup. They did deserve it more than any other team as they work so hard. I should say that the Indians and Pakistanis should follow them and do as much hard work as they do
Saad , KSA , Riyadh

Did anyone ever see a team bowl so poorly? I thought schoolboys bowled better than the 'veteran' Indian bowlers. Don't expect to win when you gift away 360 runs in 50 overs.
Arka, UK

It would be unfair to say that the Indian bowlers threw it away, after all they did so much to take us to the final. On the day, it was a bridge too far, we lost to a great side and we should be proud of what we achieved.

We may not have won but we will be back, roll on the good times for Indian cricket.
Umesh Patel, UK

" The Indian bowlers got too carried away by the occasion. It was a bad day for India. "
Gary, Atlanta

Australia versus a world eleven. They are clearly head and shoulders above all other teams, this is the only way to truly test there greatness. And it would generate a huge audience figure to boot!
Tom, London

As a staunch England fan it pains me to admit that Australia were awesome in the final against India. Even though India did not bowl well, the Australians still had the class to punish them and get the score they deserved.

They have certainly set the standard that every other team is striving to reach. Both batting and bowling was far superior to any other team. Fully deserved and great to watch.
Rob Gale, Hampshire

Is anyone really surprised that Australia won the World Cup. It was ridiculously predictable that they would beat every team in sight.

They have explosive batsmen, disciplined strike bowlers of all types and superb fielders. All the other sides have a few world class players, the Aussies unfortunately are overloaded with them.
Daniel Williams, UK

Congratulations Australia. But bad luck for the India team. I could not understand why Ganguly decided to field at first with such an excellent pitch when he won the toss. I think this was an unwise decision for them.
Mirdha S. Mamun, Italy

I think Ganguly's decision to field was right. However, the Indian bowlers got too carried away by the occasion. If only we could have bowled better, you never know. It was a bad day for India.
Gary, Atlanta

" Congratulations to the Australians - the best of the best ever "
Muhammad Salman, USA

Don't try and decide whether India lost it or Australia won it. This is the greatest one day side the world has ever seen, a side who are rewriting Test history at the same time, and a side who have simply raised the bar so that anyone who wants to take them on will have to do it on their terms.

They score faster than any side in recent memory, they bat all the way down, and they have strength in depth in every bowling department. India didn't lose it; Australia won it. But they did so some time ago, not just today.
Robert Parkinson, UK

I think India's decision to chase was wrong. All said and done it was a well deserved win for Australia. They were just excellent.
Tarunesh Mongia, New Delhi

" Australia had the laugh of their lives today at Ganguly and the Indians for throwing a perfect wicket and match away "
Rama, Singapore

Well done Australia, it does not matter how good you are, the key factor is mental toughness, the Australian always have that and that's why they are always so successful
Chandra Wijeratne, Montréal Canada

Congratulations to Australia. When You have a huge target to chase you just don't hit every ball in the first over. I am a big fan of Rahul Dravid but he needs to stretch his technical batting to a new level in the one-day game. Overall India did much better than in the first game and they should be proud of themselves. Remember it's a loss that drives hunger for more not a victory.
Oz, Toronto, Canada

This World Cup was not about Australia Vs. India or any other team. It was about Australia and only Australia and how high they set the standard. Congratulations to the Australia - the best of the best ever.
Muhammad Salman, USA

I think they just showed a very marvellous piece of professional and good team work. All others sides should learn now that how to play and how to make a good team and how to be in a team.
Atif, Denmark

Definitely, Aussies deserve the cup for their over all team spirit and strength. But it's only the Indian bowlers who completely failed in the finals and gave an advantage to Kangaroos. The first few overs gave the bowlers a psychological beat and that's the kangaroo's tactic. But India played quite well in the tournament and better luck next time
Sunanda, Sweden

The Australians are exhibitionists and not batsmen! They had the laugh of their lives today at Ganguly and the Indians for throwing a perfect wicket and match away. Tendulkar, predictably, let his country down: after all Men of Tournaments belong to history and not to their country. That's where we hope he will be dumped. Ganguly woke up on the wrong side of his bed and hadn't a clue as to where he was (the Wanderers where balls get dispatched for nothing less than fours and sixes all the time! Perhaps he thought he was at Port Elizabeth?

Finally everything hinged on poor little Virender Sehwag who was due for a score, but then so were Ponting and Martyn all due for scores that they got. Sehwag throws his wicket away, (an 82 that could have been 182 not out), on a single that wasn't in the picture. You can't get 360 runs with singles.

He was doing superbly with boundaries and sixes, and there was no point running between the wickets! What a disappointing innings and match. At least some of the thrill of the opening game would have been there had Ganguly made the best of a toss won. He tossed the Cup away instead straight into Ponting's open arms!
S.K., Rome

" Australia are deserving champions, no doubt about it "
Arik De, India

It is nothing about the toss or anything like that. Australia played a very professional and planned game unlike their Indian counterparts who did not seem to have a clear plan.

The Indians need to work more on their mental toughness to cope when things are going badly.

Indians did play well throughout the championship, so they will lift the next cup since they have a young side!!
Rama, Singapore

Australia are deserving champions, no doubt about it. But the Indians did not give up, and the way they played their group matches was truly inspiring ... Sourav and Boys, you have won fans all over the world. Lift your head up high and know that we were entertained.
Arik De, India

Great performance by Australia! They are the true champions and the deserving team to take home the World Cup.

Ponting was spectacular. It was just the right example to set for his team.
Hans, USA

The Aussie are playing real professional cricket, by far untouchable and unbeatable. Imran Khan was right all along that whenever Sachin Tendulkar doesn't score runs the Indian team collapses. Today's match demonstrates, the Indian team is still a ONE man team when it comes to winning matches! My hats off to the Aussie, a well deserved victory.
Jalal Pirzada, Pakistan

What can I say? They showed the rest of the world how to play cricket for the whole tournament and they deserved to win!
Tim, Sydney, Australia

" I cannot understand why Ganguly chose to field "
Rajagopalan, Dallas

Australia totally crushed India. They are a great team and deserve to be the champions. Not having lost a single match in the tournament, the Aussies deserve to take the trophy home.
Tanya Khokhar, New York

I thought India lost the match at the very beginning itself, I mean, at the toss. Statistics prove that chasing against Australia is not an easy task and especially when it's India, who are known for their bad chasing abilities, things could only get worse.

I cannot understand why Ganguly chose to field. Really astonishes me, keeping in mind how poor India have been while chasing.

Anyway, my heartiest congratulations for the world champions, Australia. They deserved to be the winners, being the only side in the whole tournament to have remained unbeaten. Kudos to India too for putting up a good show.
Rajagopalan, Dallas, Texas

Another clinical demolition job by the Aussies...what did you expect? An Indian victory? Puhleeeze!
Frank Kane, USA

Awesome! What a display of superior skill and cunning. Well done Australia
Steve, Australia



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