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'Ponting played better than Sachin'

Matthew Hayden believes "even Sachin Tendulkar at his best" could not have played a better innings than Ricky Ponting.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2003 21:47 IST

Matthew Hayden believes "even Sachin Tendulkar at his best" could not have played a better innings than his skipper Ricky Ponting did in the World Cup final.

Writing in his column in The Daily Telegraph, Hayden said the game against India was "effectively over" after Ponting had played the "innings of his life", a 121-ball 140 not out that contained eight sixes and four fours.

Hayden, who himself did not have a very impressive tournament, said the Australian team was always "sure" of winning the World Cup and now had already set its sights on a third successive title in 2007.

"None of us had any doubts we would win the World Cup, but it still was a massive relief to reach our goal and get our hands on the trophy after two months of hard work in South Africa," Hayden wrote.

"We knew that if we executed our plans correctly then no one could touch us. That was borne out against India when we got a fairytale start thanks to Adam Gilchrist, and when Ricky Ponting came in and played the innings of his life, then it was effectively game over.

Hayden said although Ponting made the headlines, and rightly so because "I do not believe even Sachin Tendulkar at his best could have played any better, the contribution of Gilchrist cannot be understated.

Gilchrist made an attacking 57 from 48 balls in the final which set the stage for a huge Australian total. More

First Published: Mar 25, 2003 19:59 IST