Hold your nerve and win...
Reaching the World Cup final after 20 years is a proud moment for all of us. Though I was a young kid when India achieved that feat in 1983, I still remember every ball of that game. I also remember that after India had won, all my cousins in the house indulged in celebrations, which went on past midnight.india Updated: Mar 23, 2003 00:11 IST
Reaching the World Cup final after 20 years is a proud moment for all of us. Though I was a young kid when India achieved that feat in 1983, I still remember every ball of that game. I also remember that after India had won, all my cousins in the house indulged in celebrations, which went on past midnight.
This is a proud moment for all Indians back home, and most of all for my father. Hundreds of thousands of people will be watching the game back home and I hope we can bring the smiles on their faces Sunday evening.
We have played splendidly in the tournament. Most of the wins were comfortable and one-sided. There was a bit of pressure in the semi-finals, simply due to the magnitude of the game, but we overcame all those hurdles very well. We will play the same team in the final, and all the boys are fit. It is a big day for all of them.
On a personal note, I was happy to score my third Cup century, and equal the all-time record of four.
Australia are a good side, and they have played well in this tournament. It is going to be a hard-fought game on Sunday and it will be a big battle of nerves. The team that holds its nerve will emerge on top.
The wicket at Wanderers is a good one, but it has been hot and muggy here the past couple of days. The boys are geared up for the big occasion. They are prepared to give off their best. At the same time, it is vital for us to forget what all we have achieved till the semi-finals. While our performance has been great, it is better to forget all that and take Sunday's game as a whole new adventure. This is the third big final for us in the recent past.
We had made the ICC Mini World Cup final in Nairobi in 2000, but unfortunately lost to New Zealand there. In 2002, we were in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo, and we were in a very good position before rain came and ended the game. This is the biggest event of all, and we want to win it. A good performance here will be cherished for life.