Thirteen years after the incident, Sreesanth looks back on his performance. Sri recalled the incident during a YouTuber channel interview. Sreesanth’s revelation comes amidst the excruciating loss of the 2003 One-day World Cup final and the words of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni just before the match.
I was inspired by Dhoni bhai at that time. You are a big hug here and there. He said, if possible, it would all be taken out against Australia today. Anyway, Dhoni Bhai’s words were a great encouragement to me. Those words were timely. In the first ball against Australia, I tried Yorker and failed. It bounced over Hayden. I had deliberately tried to Yorker. “I noticed that Shuid Akhtar dismissed Hayden on a similar ball,” Sreesanth said.
I wanted to beat Australia at any cost. So I tried to make the most of it. I have fond memories of Australia defeating India in 2003. So I felt the need to burn the Aussies. That’s why you see me in a very different role when playing against Australia – Sreesanth revealed.
In the World Cup final (2003), only Viru Bhai resisted India. There was much talk about the defeat of India at that time. All of this made me very angry with the Aussies. Anyway, I was fortunate enough to put on a brilliant performance in a match that everyone remembers. The best bowling I’ve ever done for India is definitely in that match. I threw a lot of dot balls that day. The total yield is only two fours. Sreesanth pointed out that the total yield was 12 runs.
Sreesanth also revealed that he liked the dismissal of the captains. It was Sreesanth who dismissed Adam Gilchrist, who led Australia in the semifinals that day. Gilchrist captained the side after regular captain Ricky Ponting failed to play due to an injury.
I’ve always liked to get the captains out. On the eve of the semi-final against Australia, Dinesh Bhai (Sreesanth’s coach) called me and asked whom he would like to expel tomorrow. I said Ricky Ponting’s name. Ponting may not play because of his injury, he said. Ponting said he was ready to play in the final. I asked what the final was. How are they going to play the final. I asked him if we had come here to eat mangoes. However, Sreesanth took the wicket of Gilchrist, who led Australia in that match.
MS Dhoni, The Sreesanth Recalls of Australia