WC 2003 - Ex-stars hail India~~s performance despite defeat

Published: Friday, February 28, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai: Former Test cricketers and administrators hailed India's performance in the cricket World Cup despite their 125-run defeat against Australia at Johannesburg in South Africa on Sunday.Former chairman of the selection committee, Chandu Borde, who is holidaying in Singapore said over phone that it was an incredible run for the Indians in the World Cup and they should keep their heads high even after the defeat in the final because they lost to a better team."I personally feel that the Indians under Saurav Ganguly showed that they are capable of producing the best in big tournaments, but sadly could not repeat the form they had shown in earlier matches," Borde added."When the Indians lost to the Aussies in the league stages, after a disastrous New Zealand tour, they were written-off as team which will not even make it to the Super Sixes stage. However, Ganguly handled the team so well thatthe public started thinking they could win the Cup but in vain, Borde said."I feel the Indians should be proud of their showing and concentrate on future engagements," he added. Another former Test star Polly Umrigar said that it was a very good showing by the Indians despite the loss."They came up to the final after performing very badly in New Zealand and that itself is a very good achievement. They had a very bad day on Sunday but should be proud of their achievements till the final, where they lost to a better team," Umrigar added. Former national selector Sambaran Banerjee said India lost to a better team in the final of the World Cup. "It was a bad day for India. They didn't do well. However, India's performance in the Cup has been highly creditable. Saurav Ganguly and his boys played their heart out, though in the end they finished second best to the Aussies," Banerjee said.Banerjee said the Indian team suffered because of the poor performance of the three pacers Zaheer khan, Ashish Nehra and Javagal Srinath in the final. "They have been playing consistently all through. But failed to fire on Sunday," he said.Another former Bengal cricketer Raju Mukherjee said Australia was the best side in the world and 'deservedly' won the Cup. "The strengths of the Indian team lay in its batting and the good leadership of Ganguly. The weak areas were bowling and fielding," he said. "I think the team played beyond themselves to reach thus far. Their performance is commendable," he said. Both Banerjee and Mukherjee defended Ganguly's decision to send Australia to bat first on winning the toss. PTI

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