March 23, 2020 marks the 17th anniversary of the iconic Ricky Ponting 140* innings that helped Australia win its second-consecutive ICC Cricket World Cup title. The 2003 Cricket World Cup final was played at Johannesburg where India and Australia clashed as Sachin Tendulkar came very near to realising his World Cup dream. However, Ponting's onslaught was too much for India to handle as the 1983 winners collapsed under pressure.
In an innings which was filled with classic moments like the Ricky Ponting pull shot and many other strokes, the captain of Australia scored 140 against a formidable Indian bowling line-up. After Adam Gilchrist got out for 57, Ponting stepped in and played out the remaining innings, scoring a whirlwind 140*. Damien Martyn scored 88* as the two Australian batsmen partnered for 234 unbeaten runs for the third wicket. With four fours and eight sixes, Ricky Ponting 140 helped Australia reach 359 in their fifty overs.
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When India came out to bat, only Virender Sehwag could give the Australians a run for their money as he scored 82. The remaining team mostly fell in single-digit scores and India was cleaned up for just 234. Australia won its second World Cup in a row and a similar 149-run innings from Adam Gilchrist in the 2007 final helped the team clinch a hat-trick of titles. India ended up winning the 2011 World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Ricky Ponting was one of the most legendary Australian batsmen and captains to have played the gentlemen's game. In an ODI career which began in 1995 and spanned till 2012, Ponting scored 30 ODI centuries in 365 innings. He scored 13704 runs in ODI cricket.