Ricky Ponting (left) Damien Martyn with the ICC World Cup 2003 trophy © AFP
Ricky Ponting (left) Damien Martyn with the ICC World Cup 2003 trophy © AFP

Perth: Notwithstanding India’s good showing en route to the 2003 World Cup final, former batsman Damien Martyn said that it was Australia‘s ‘self-belief’ that helped them in outplaying the Sourav Ganguly-led side in the title clash. Put into bat, the defending champions rode on a 234-run unbeaten third-wicket partnership between Ponting (140) and Martyn (88) to post 359 and then managed to bundle out the Men in Blue for 234 in 39.2 overs. Martyn recalls the memorable day.

“Everybody was excited and there was a lot of energy in the group about the big Final. It was a good wicket, a good outfield and a good crowd. We batted well and got a big score on the board. Once we had put that score, we knew India would be under pressure,” the former middle-order batsman told BCCI.TV. “We believed in ourselves that we could beat India and posting a huge first innings total was half the job done,” he added.

Australia’s pace spearhead Glenn McGrath (3-52) got the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (4) first up and even though Virender Sehwag (82) and Rahul Dravid (47) did put up a fight, the Ricky Ponting-led side was just too good. Martyn, 43, said that the team’s ‘persistence’ paid off.

“Even in India’s run-chase we never took it easy after Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. India had a lot of other good guys in the line-up apart from Tendulkar and we knew that with a good wicket and outfield on offer anybody could chase down a target on a given day. We just tried to keep doing what we had done through the whole World Cup and we did it in the Final,” said the cricketer-turned-commentator.

Martyn, who represented Australia in 67 Tests and 208 ODIs, insists that ‘teamwork’ and ‘mindset’ take you a long way in any competition. “We went into the 2003 World Cup with a mindset of winning every game. We beat Pakistan in our first game where Andrew Symonds hit a big hundred. We had a close game against England and we got over the line. Every game one or two players stood up and did well for the side. We knew we had to be good every game and we did that and ended up finishing well in the final,” he added.