The 2003 World Cup was one of the greatest World Cup campaigns for the Indian team. Coming into the tournament, there were not many expectations from the Men in Blue. Sourav Ganguly’s men started the tournament on a bad note as they struggled against the Netherlands and suffered a humiliation versus Australia.
Then their campaign picked up pace as the team seemed to be in great form. The Indian team blew away every competition in sight as they seemed to win matches for fun. This was a memorable campaign as India reached final for only the second time in their history.
In the final, they met Australia again and they were beaten by the Kangaroos again. Australia won the World Cup for the second time in a row, while Indians suffered a heartbreak. Nevertheless, the cricket-loving nation will always remember the campaign and the stars which made it possible. So let us take a look at what those stars are doing now.
#1 Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag
The opening partnership played a huge role in the success of the Indian team in the tournament. Sachin Tendulkar was in absolute god-mode throughout the tournament as he scored 673 runs in the tournament. This is still the record for most runs scored in a single World Cup.
The master blaster announced his retirement from cricket in 2013. Since then, he has spent most of his time outside cricket except the two months during IPL where he is mentor of Mumbai Indians. Tendulkar also owns teams in various sports leagues in the country.
Virender Sehwag waged a lone battle in the final of 2003 World Cup but the team fell short. Currently, the dashing opening is entertaining audiences with his commentary. Sehwag is also running an international school in Delhi.
#2 Sourav Ganguly and Mohammed Kaif
While Sachin Tendulkar got the plaudits he deserved for his performances throughout the tournament, fans tend to forget the effort of Sourav Ganguly. The Indian captain was the second highest scorer of the tournament with 465 runs in the World Cup including three centuries.
His captaincy and ability to lead from front gave much-needed belief and motivation to the team. Currently, Dada is serving as president of the Bengal Cricket Association. The former Indian captain is also an advisor for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League.
There was a time when India was among the worst fielding sides in the world. In that setup, Mohammed Kaif was one of the very few world-class fielders. There is a reason he is regarded as one of the best fielders produced by the country. Currently, Kaif is giving commentary and is also involved in politics, along with his association with the Delhi Capitals.
#3 Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia
Yuvraj Singh had caught the attention of the cricket fans when he played brilliant innings in the final of Natwest Series in 2002. The young left-handed batsman had built a reputation of a match winner for himself as he could take the game away from the opposition.
His partnership with Rahul Dravid in the match against Pakistan is underrated. The left-hander played his part in the memorable campaign for the Men in Blue. Currently, Yuvraj is struggling with both form and fitness as his international career seems to be over. The retirement decision might be on cards but Indian fans will never forget him.
Dinesh Mongia was picked in the team due to his ability to contribute with both and ball. The left-handed batsman had a stop-start International career as he struggled with consistency. Mongia took up the role of a coach in school teams and has also acted in a Bollywood movie.
#4 Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh
Rahul Dravid is one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the game. This campaign was another example of Dravid willing to do anything for the benefit of the team. The right-handed batsman took up the gloves behind the stumps so that India could play an extra batsman.
Dravid had a very good tournament with the bat as he scored 318 runs at an average of 63.60. The legend of the game has done brilliantly as the head coach of India U-19 and India ‘A’ team. He has played a huge role in the development of a lot of youngsters in that role.
Harbhajan Singh was the only Indian bowler who did well in the 2003 World Cup final. The off-spinner picked up 11 wickets in the tournament as he supported the pacers well. The legendary off-spinner is currently plying his trade for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
#5 Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, and Ashish Nehra
Zaheer Khan was the leader of the Indian pace attack in the World Cup. The left-arm pacer finished as the highest wicket-taker for Men in Blue in the tournament. The legendary fast bowler is serving the role of Director of Cricket Operations for Mumbai Indians.
Javagal Srinath is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of Indian cricket. The right-arm fast bowler played a pivotal part in the success of the team by picking 16 wickets. After his retirement, Srinath has made a name for himself as a match referee.
Ashish Nehra’s spell of six wickets against England in the group stage can never be forgotten. He was simply sublime in that spell as English batsmen had no answer to his bowling. The left-arm pacer currently entertains the fans with his commentary and is also serving as bowling coach for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Originally Published by sportskeeda.com