WC 2003 - Beware Australia, Indians are out to get you: Papers

Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2003, 21:01 [IST]
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New Delhi: The Indian media on Tuesday lauded its cricket team's crushing victory over Sri Lanka, saying Saurav Ganguly's side could stop formidable Australia in the ongoing World Cup in South Africa."Ponting beware, Indians are on fire," proclaimed a Times of India headline after India routed Sri Lanka by 183 runs in its Super-Six clash at Johannesburg on Monday to storm into the semi-finals.Ricky Ponting's Australians, unbeaten so far in the tournament, have already made it to the penultimate round."The Indian team which came into the World Cup was insecure, uncertain. The Indian team which has entered the semi-finals of the World Cup is on fire. Mr Ricky Ponting, beware," said the paper.The media praised Indian openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, and veteran fast bowler Javagal Srinath for the team's second successive Super Six win.Tendulkar (97) and Sehwag (66) provided a blistering 153-run start which helped India post an imposing 292 for 6 before Srinath sliced through the Sri Lankan batting with a four-wicket haul.Sri Lanka was shot out for 109, with as many as five batsmen scoring ducks in a dismal performance."On a bright and sunny Monday morning at the Wanderers (venue of the match), the Indians went hunting and returned with eleven Lankan lions and five ducks," said the Times of India."Sri Rips Lanka," said the Indian Express front-page headline, referring to Srinath's incisive spell which reduced the match to a no-contest."A match slated as a shootout between two veteran gunslingers turned out to be a no-contest. The Indians entered the arena with bazookas only to find the Sri Lankans were armed with water-pistols," the paper said."India showed it is the only team that can actually stop the mighty Aussie march in this World Cup."The Asian Age also said India could pose a serious threat to Australia after its emphatic win over Sri Lanka."Beware Aussies, here we come," screamed a headline."On current form, Indians are the only true challenge to Australia. The massacre at the Wanderers has given India a place in the semi-finals," said the paper.Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar criticised Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya's decision to elect to field after winning the toss against a "strong batting line-up"."I just could not believe my eyes when, on winning the toss, Jayasuriya preferred to field first on a placid track. It was a mistake he will rue for the rest of his life," Vengsarkar wrote in his column in Indian Express."The only way the Sri Lankans could have put India under pressure was by opting to bat first and posting a decent total on the board. Instead, he (Jayasuriya) invited them to take the first strike. "It was not only unbelievable, but suicidal as well. "India too had made the same mistake in the 1996 World Cup semi-final against the same team at Eden Gardens (Calcutta) and paid the penalty. It seems the wheel of (mis)fortune has turned a full circle."Copyright AFP 2001

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