On this day in 2003 (23rd March 2003), India played their second final in the ICC Cricket World Cup history, which was almost 20 years later since their 1983 Cricket World Cup victory. India faced the defending champions Australia in the final of the tournament at The Wanderers Stadium (Johannesburg).
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and decided to field first. Australia scored 359/2 (50 overs) in the first innings where the skipper Ricky Ponting smashed a superb century (140* off 121 balls) and got great support from Damien Martyn (88* off 84 balls) after the openers provided a solid start (Adam Gilchrist 57 runs off 48 balls, and Matthew Hayden scored 38 runs off 54 balls). The Indian bowlers conceded a total of 37 extras in that innings.
Chasing down that target, India were bowled out for 234 runs (39.2 overs) and lost that final match by 125 runs.
While it was the heart-breaking defeat for the Indian team who performed really well in that entire tournament, it was Australia’s third Cricket World Cup victory. India lost only two matches in that entire tournament, and both were against Australia (in the Group Stage and final).
Here we are discussing the present status of the Indian playing XI who featured in the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2003
The legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was the hero for India in the entire tournament but massively failed in the final. The most runs scorer of that tournament (673 runs), who also won the Player of the Tournament award in CWC 2003, was caught & bowled by Glenn McGrath in the first over after scoring just four runs.
After this final, Tendulkar observed big ups and downs in his international career. Due to the tennis elbow injury, he struggled in the international career but it couldn’t stop him. Slowly but steadily Tendulkar became the most run-scorer in both the Test and ODI formats and he added more runs to become untouchable in these lists.
Apart from scoring 100 international centuries (the only player to achieve this feat), becoming the first batsman to score double-century in ODI, Tendulkar also fulfilled his dream to win the CWC trophy in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. While Tendulkar last played an ODI in March 2012, he played his last Test in November 2013. On 1st December 2006, Tendulkar also played a T20I.
Tendulkar ended his recognised professional career in 2013. Since then, he batted in some special cricket matches, including recently postponed the Road Safety World Series 2020.