2003 vs 2023 World Cup final: Fans spot uncanny similarities as India take on Australia

India have stormed into the ICC World Cup 2023 final. The Men in Blue will take on Australia on November 19 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The last time when India were in a World Cup final, they lifted the trophy under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This time, it’s Rohit Sharma leading the pack. Meanwhile, fans have spotted uncanny similarities between this year’s World Cup final and the one that took place in 2003.

It was Sourav Ganguly who led India to the World Cup 2003 final against Australia. The memories of the Johannesburg match are still fresh in many Indians’ minds. Australia, led by Ricky Ponting, put up 359/2 – a massive score as per 2003 standards. The Australian skipper himself scored 140.

Virender Sehwag scored 82 off 81 balls and Rahul Dravid scored 47 off 57 balls. No other Indian batter managed to make a mark. Sachin Tendulkar was out for 4. India were bundled out for 234.

While Indian fans do not want the repetition of the outcome of that match, they have found several other similarities between the 2003 and the 2023 finals.

The Rahul connection

In 2003, Rahul Dravid was India’s make-shift wicket-keeper. And, he did quite well to surprise many. Even as a batter, he scored 318 runs in 11 matches. Interestingly, another Rahul (KL) is keeping wickets for India in 2023. Since Rishabh Pant was still recovering from his accident, India chose KL Rahul as the wicket-keeper. He has scored 386 runs in 10 matches. Rahul Dravid was the vice-captain in 2003. After Hardik Pandya had been ruled out of the tournament, KL Rahul was named as the vice-captain.

Australia 2003

Australia were undefeated in the group stages in 2003 and remained so as they won the World Cup after emerging victorious in knock-out games. When they faced India in the final, they won 10 consecutive matches. In 2023, so far, India have been undefeated in 10 straight matches.

Rajkumar Hirani

In 2003, Rajkumar Hirani’s Munna Bhai MBBS was released in December (19th). This year, too, Hirani’s movie is coming up in December. On December 22, Dunki starring Shah Rukh Khan will be released. This is unusual because Hirani is known for taking a decent amount of time to make each of his movies. 

BJP government

In 2003, it was a BJP government at the Centre, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the prime minister of India. This time, it’s a BJP government at the Centre again.

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Updated: 17 Nov 2023, 10:19 AM IST

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