WC 2003 - Indian Super heroes let us down badly: Fans

Published: Saturday, February 15, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Durban: The Indian-origin South Africans here had no mercy for the Indian team as they blamed the "indisciplined" pace attack for the "thoroughly disappointing" defeat at the hands of Australia in the World Cup final in Johannesburg.Indian cricket fanMost of the people on the streets of Durban said the outcome of the game was hardly in doubt once Australia posted a massive 359 and they switched off their TV sets before the end of the game.Besides the fast bowlers, master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and skipper Saurav Ganguly also came in for a lot of flak for playing "trash shots"."Had Zaheer Khan concentrated on bowling in a disciplined manner instead of trying to sledge the opening Australian batsmen, he would have captured some wickets," said Valiatham Moodley, a Durban chemist. "Then you had Tendulkar going and playing a rash shot in the first over of the match."India's collapse started from the very first over when they bowled and when they started to bat. Zaheer gave them a bad start by conceding 15 runs in the first over and Tendulkar let the team down by getting out in the first over, was another common refrain. "I was so disappointed that I switched off my TV set and just left the house," said a fan. Another Indian fan, Bernard Naidoo, said he had his brother and brother-in-law at his house in the township of Phoenix to watch the final. "When India started giving away runs my brother and brother-in-law got into a heated argument with me saying that India was going to lose. I told them to give India a chance and that when they start batting, Tendulkar, Ganguly and the others would carry them through to a victory."But when India lost its first wicket in the first over of the match, my brother and brother-in-law got up and just left. They said they were not prepared to get into an argument with me," said Naidoo. A lady supporter of the Indian team, Preshnee Govender, said the Australians were "too professional" for the Indians. "The problem with India was that they did not apply themselves well. In the first place Ganguly should have chosen to bat after winning the toss. But in any case when he chose to field, he should have called on his fast bowlers to restrict the Australians from scoring runs. He did not do this and they paid dearly for their indiscretion," she said.Ram Nundlall, a retired official, said India let him and thousands of others supporters, down. "We were glued to the TV screens from the start but slowly lost interest when the players just fell apart. I am very angry that the players we hail as super heroes, let us down so badly," he said. Meanwhile, the media here was full of praise for Ricky Ponting for his brilliant innings of 140 not out. 'The Mercury' published a large colour photograph of Ponting hitting out with the headline, "Captain Marvel" and a sub-heading, "Punter Ponting hits jackpot as Aussies rule"."The Star" also waxed eloquent on "Ponting's wizards of Oz".However, master blaster Tendulkar was not left out from the reports here. 'The Mercury' carried a photograph of Tendulkar in full action under the headline, "Fans hail Little Master' referring to his bagging the man-of-the-tournament award for scoring an unparalleled 673 runs in the competition. PTI

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