The emotional Ponting-Martyn conversation before 2003 WC final
Melbourne [Australia], Jan. 10 (ANI): Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has revealed an emotional conversation he had with teammate Damien Martyn in the build-up to the 2003 World Cup final against India which ultimately proved to be a catalyst for one of the greatest partnerships in game's pinnacle event.
Ponting, besides scoring a stunning 140* in the finals played at the Wanderers in South Africa on March 23, 2003, also shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 234 with Martyn as his side posted a mammoth total of 359-2 to effectively put the Saurav Ganguly-led side out the contest.
According to Ponting, it was Martyn's unbeaten 88 from 84 deliveries, made with a broken finger, which showed "the other side" of the middle-order batsman.
"He had a badly broken finger but I was desperate for him to play because he'd played right the way through, he was an experienced player, and 'Marto' was one of those guys who, when things got toughest, he was at his best," cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying.
"If you think about some of the Test tours to India and Sri Lanka where conditions were hard, he found a way and got it done."
"Most people that looked at him and the way that he played, probably don't see that side of him. They see the other side of him – the arrogance and the swagger and the class with the way that he played. But they don't see the other side of him very often," he added.
The former Australian skipper further revealed that two days before the match, he went up to Martyn and said, "'Look, needle it (his finger) for me today, get through training, I'll watch you catch a few balls and hit a few balls, and then when you've finished, look me in the eye and tell me you can play, because I want you to play."
And the day the match was to be played, Ponting goes to the middle-order batsman and said, "Look me in the eye and tell me you (Martyn) can play." To which Martyn replied, "I can play."
Australia went up to win that match comfortably by 125 runs.(ANI)