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Ganguly hails 'superior' Australia

India captain Saurav Ganguly paid tribute to Australia after his side were crushed by 125 runs in the World Cup final on Sunday, saying they had been "far superior".

india Updated: Mar 23, 2003 23:05 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

India captain Saurav Ganguly paid tribute to Australia after his side were crushed by 125 runs in the World Cup final on Sunday, saying they had been "far superior".

Ganguly said: "Hats off to them. They played like great champions.

"Australia were a better team than us but we can go back home with our heads held high."

He said India, whose only two defeats in 11 matches both came against the Australians, had learnt to play like a team during the tournament but added: "We lost to a side who played far superior to us today."

Australia, unbeaten throughout the tournament, became the first side to win the trophy three times as they cruised home with 10.4 overs to spare at The Wanderers.

They scored 359 for two from their 50 overs, the best score ever recorded in a World Cup final, before dismissing India for 234.

Ganguly said India's pace attack, after a fine tournament, had failed to fire. "It was one of those bad days for them. I think they bowled too short."

He said he had been happy with his decision to bowl first. "The pitch had quite a bit of life in the morning, if you put the ball in the right place. We could have got them out but it didn't happen.

"As you saw with the wicket in the afternoon, even 300 was chaseable.

"We have learnt a few things though, most importantly we have learnt to play as a unit.

"For a lot of the boys it was their first World Cup and the way they stood up to the pressure was commendable. It was a very high pressure tournament."

Sachin Tendulkar, named man of the tournament, was India's only real hope of a miracle fightback but he fell for just four in Glenn McGrath's opening over.

Tendulkar, presented with his award by West Indian great Gary Sobers, said: "It didn't happen. The bowlers found it tough to put the ball in the right areas. It was just one of those days."

First Published: Mar 23, 2003 23:05 IST