Melbourne, April 3: After receiving a horse-whipping at the hands of the Indians in the quarterfinal of the World Cup 2011, Australia's skipper Ricky Ponting predicted that his team's conquerors would go on to lift the coveted trophy. At around 11 pm on Saturday, April 2, his words came true. But how was the man so sure he would be proved right and that India would indeed be the next World Champions?
Perhaps, it is because he knew that, to put it in literary terms, "the king is dead, long live the new king!" Pakistan may have snapped Australia's undefeated streak of 34 matches in World Cups, but it was India who effectively ended the reign of the team from Down Under by knocking them out of the tournament and thus effectively ending their bid of retaining the trophy.
There must have been something in the commitment, power and verve in India's performance in that match which convinced Ponting that his side had been consigned to defeat by unequivocal World Champions' material. Maybe it was the fact thet even after Australia had India on the mat at 187/5 chasing 261, the team was able to bounce back through the gutsiness of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina.
Earlier in the tournament, Ponting had said, "We will leave India to deal with the pressure of being favourites of the World Cup." By the time his side was defeated, he probably knew from the way Indian had been struggling through and surmounting its obstacles in each match, that they could content with that pressure and were ready for World Cup glory. And right he was!