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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 09:16 GMT
India in awe of Australia
A poster of Sourav Ganguly is burnt after India's World Cup final defeat
The Indian media has begged the public not to overreact
Australia were hailed as deserving champions by the Indian press on Monday after winning the World Cup final in convincing fashion.

Ricky Ponting's side romped to a 125-run victory after setting 359 batting first at the Wanderers.

In response, the Indian media, rather than pour scorn on its side, was full or praise for the Australians.

"It's official. The Australians are the best one-day team, the Indians are second best," The Indian Express newspaper said under a front-page headline: "Cup not ours but raise a toast".

The Indian Express added: "Ricky Ponting's men showed there is a gulf separating the two teams that measures almost twice as much as the distance between Mumbai and Melbourne."

We can look back on South Africa 2003 with fondness, and ahead to West Indies 2007 with hope
The Times of India

Ponting starred for Australia, smashing a stunning 121-ball 140 not out to effectively wrap up victory for his side.

Glenn McGrath then shone with the ball, taking three wickets for 52 runs, with Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds adding two apiece.

The Hindustan Times conceded that Australia are the "greatest one-day team in history" but called on India fans not to vent their anger against the team.

After a poor start to the tournament, pictures of Indian players were burnt on the sub-continent in a series of violent clashes.

Captain Sourav Ganguly was given a mock funeral and black paint was hurled at batsman Mohammad Kaif's house in the northern city of Allahabad.

But, The Times of India said, there was no shame in losing to Australia.

"We can look back on South Africa 2003 with fondness, and ahead to West Indies 2007 with hope," it said.


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