With a career spanning over two decades and numerous batting records to his name, Tendulkar identified India’s triumphant World Cup campaign under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the most satisfying moment in his illustrious career.The ‘Master Blaster’ specifically referred to the final where Team India lifted theODI World Cup trophy for the second time, dubbing it the “happiest day” of his career.
The ‘Men in Blue’ have come close to claiming the trophy in subsequent editions. However, they faced semi-final defeats against Australia and New Zealand in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.
Breaking their 12-year semifinal jinx, India secured a spot in the ongoing World Cup final with a comprehensive 70-run victory over New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium. As they prepare for the final showdown against Australia, Tendulkar acknowledged the host’s journey, stating that South Africa made Australia sweat in their chase of a modest target of 213 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
This World Cup final marks the first encounter between India and Australia in the ODI World Cup final in 20 years. Recalling the 2003 final where India suffered a crushing 125-run defeat at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, the ‘Men in Blue’ are fueled by a desire for payback. Having carried the scars from 2003 and the recent World Test Championship (WTC) final, Team India is set for a high-stakes battle against the ‘Baggy Greens’ on Sunday.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav.
Australia squad:Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.
(With inputs from ANI)