As mighty India take on five-time champions Australia in the 2023 World Cup finals, the thousands of cricket fans, who have started pouring into the Narendra Modi stadium at Ahmedabad, hope the Men in Blue will avenge the 2003 World Cup final setback against Australia.
In the 2003 finals held at Johannesburg, India, led by Saurav Ganguly, lost to Ricky Ponting's Australia by 125 runs.
While Indian captain Rohit Sharma claims they aren't fretting about the past, stating "what happened in 2003" is not something he was thinking about, fans believe India's 10-match winning streak at the World Cup suggests its revenge time.
Like Kannada actor Darling Krishna, who holds on to his belief that India is winning this time. "I think it's like revenge for 2003. We were kids when we watched that match. It was disappointing to see India lose at that time. This time much better team, performance, and mindset," he told ANI.
Another fan from Chennai believes today is India's day. "We have specially come from Chennai to watch the match. In the evening, Rohit Sharma will hold the trophy. Today, we will avenge 2003," he said.
"I was excited from the beginning of the World Cup. I am sure India will win," another fan, who arrived with his wife for the match in Motera stadium, told reporters.
The excitement is palpable in social media too. "It's time for the much-awaited trophy to bring back home where it belongs. Ab 2003 ka badla pura hoga. We bleed blue," wrote one cricket enthusiast on X.
Another user wrote, "The destiny that was written 20 years ago – Australia vs India in the World Cup Final. Captain Rohit Sharma is going to take the 2003 World Cup final revenge."
One shared: "Revenge Time: India vs Australia on Sunday at Modi Stadium! 2003: Australia beat India in the group stage, Unbeaten in the tournament & beat India in the final. 2023: India beat Australia in the group stage, Unbeaten in the tournament & will beat Australia in #CWC2023Final"
However, Australian skipper Pat Cummins is unfazed by the revenge part. "I mean, neither player from both sides were there in 2003, so it feels a long time ago. But we know it’s going to be a packed house. There’s going to be 130,000 fans here supporting India. So, it's going to be awesome,’’ Cummins said at the pre-match media conference.