Sunday marked the 17th anniversary of Australia’s third World Cup win, when in the final of the 2003 edition, they thrashed India by 125 runs. Ricky Ponting, who led the charge with a sublime unbeaten 140 off 121 balls revealed his priority was to go after the bowling rather than playing the entire 50 overs. Also Read - Shreyas Iyer Eagerly Waiting to Represent India in Test Cricket, Says 'Every Cricketer's Dream to Play in Whites'
Ponting’s knock propelled Australia to a mammoth 359 for 2, in reply of which India were bowled out for 234. The Indian attack, comprising Javagal Srinath, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra were belted all over The Wanders, Johannesburg. Also Read - It Hurt Giving Up Australia's Captaincy: Ricky Ponting
“In the second drinks break, Australia were two down with 15 overs to go, I told the 12th man tell the boys to be ready because I am going to go for everything, right here, right now,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. Also Read - This Day That Year: Ricky Ponting Goes Berserk as India's World Cup Dreams Go Up in Smoke
“If it comes off we are going to get a huge score. I am not going to be happy with batting through and getting to 300 against that Indian attack. If I go from now and it comes off, we are going to post a massive score. I had great in the guys coming behind me and we still had Lehmann, Bevan, Symonds.”
On Sunday, Ponting shared on Twitter pictures of the bat he used during the knock, revealing he had kept it as a souvenir. “Given we’ve all got a bit of time on our hands as we stay at home, thought I’d go through what I’ve kept from my career and share some of it with everyone on a regular basis – this is the bat I used in the 2003 World Cup final,” he posted on Twitter.
Coming back to the match, aiding Ponting was Damien Martyn’s unbeaten 88 off 84 balls as the two batsmen added 234 runs in 181 balls en route to the highest World Cup final score of all time. India were never in the game and although Virender Sehwag gave them hope with a blistering 82, it was never going to be enough.
“I told him ‘look me in the eye and tell me if you are right to play’. I wanted to Martyn to play in the World Cup, he is such a good player, such a good player of spin,” Ponting added. “Given we’ve all got a bit of time on our hands as we stay at home, thought I’d go through what I’ve kept from my career and share some of it with everyone on a regular basis- this is the bat I used in the 2003 World Cup final.”