Indians trying to overcome big-game jitters
Not even a single player in the Indian squad knows what exactly it feels like to play in a World Cup final but skipper Sourav Ganguly and his men are determined not to be overwhelmed by the big occasion.india Updated: Mar 21, 2003 14:53 IST
Not even a single player in the Indian squad knows what exactly it feels like to play in a World Cup final but skipper Sourav Ganguly and his men are determined not to be overwhelmed by the big occasion.
The Wanderers Stadium, reverberating with thousands of throaty fans, and a lifetime occasion of a World Cup final are certainly enough to unnerve the best but the Indian side, playing in the World Cup final for the first time in 20 years, is keen to overcome all odds and upset the applecart of Australia in the title clash on Sunday.
Ganguly has exhorted his men to show spirit and a do-or-die approach but a World Cup final could still bring a few nerves to the fore, more so when nobody going into the Sunday's game would have the experience of a stage as big as that.
Sachin Tendulkar and Javagal Srinath are the only two of the Indian eleven who have come closest to such a feeling, having taken part in the semi-finals against Sri Lanka in Calcutta during the 1996 World Cup.
But such a curriculum vitae means little when compared to the Australians who have as many as six players with the experience of playing in the finals.
Ricky Ponting, Darren Lehmann, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Michael Bevan all played key roles while Damien Martyn was little-used by Steve Waugh during Australia's 1999 World Cup winning campaign in England. More