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'Opting to field first was mistake'

Former off-spinner E A S Prasanna believes India made a mistake by fielding first after winning the toss in the World Cup final.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2003 18:42 IST

Former off-spinner E A S Prasanna believes India made a mistake by fielding first after winning the toss in the World Cup final against the formidable Australians.

"Winning the toss was vital. The moment we decided to field, we lost the initiative and advantage", he said.

Sourav Ganguly-led Indians should have batted first. With even 180 runs to 200 runs on board, India could have made a match out of it, Prasanna said talking to PTI here after India lost to Australia by 125 runs yesterday at the Wanderers.

Had India batted first, he said, Australians with resilience and tenacity could have overtaken India's score and still won but India could have made a match out of it, he felt.

It would have been good, if India had included a couple of more youngsters in the 15-member squad. They need not have been given a chance in the playing XI but practising along with the likes of Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar would have made a world of good to them, he added.

But leg-spin legend B S Chandrashekar did not share Prasanna's perception that India should have batted first.

Both Prasanna and Chandrashekar said India reaching the final itself is a great achievement and Indians did a good job but eventually lost to a better side. They said the bowlers did not bowl well in the final.