Never before there was jubiliation and annihiliation thrown in such stark contrast but everything just went on to ascertain India's growing status in the world arena.
The World Cup contract row threatened to render India hors-de-combat for the premier event but the game's governing body bent backward to accommodate a team which sends the cash bells ringing.
And despite being humiliated by Australia in the final, India's dream run in the World Cup was the high point of the team which displayed remarkable resilience and character to shrug off the enormous pressure of an indifferent start and record eight consecutive victories.
For a team which was known to invariably choke in crunch situations, the 'Great Indian huddle' not only symbolised a resurgence in India's cricketing fortunes but also the spirit to overcome all odds.
The Indians, for a change, learnt to fight and were also willing to give their opponents a dose of their own medicine.
Ganguly had changed the image of the Indian cricketer -- from apologetic and docile to an aggressive and determined one.