World Cup flashback: Andrew Symonds' epic lights up Johannesburg

Updated: Mar 18, 2019, 10:55 IST | A Correspondent |

How Australia faced Pakistan in their World Cup opener in 2003 World Cup

Australia's Andrew Symonds attacks a Pakistan bowler in Johannesburg. Pic/Getty Images
Australia's Andrew Symonds attacks a Pakistan bowler in Johannesburg. Pic/Getty Images

No Shane Warne (banned for a year after consuming a banned substance), no Darren Lehmann (banned for racially abusing SL in the previous series), no Michael Bevan (groin injury). That's how defending champions Australia went into their 2003 World Cup opener against Pakistan at Johannesburg. And then… 86 for four thanks to a three-wicket burst by Wasim Akram.

In comes Andrew 'Roy' Symonds to face an attack which also includes Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. He gets a bouncer from Waqar first up and nearly drags one to his stumps at 23.

He then frees his arms a bit more and starts dealing in boundaries. Shahid Afridi gets hit for four fours in an over. The next hit off the leg-spinner helps him reach his century. The Bull Ring is abuzz. Symonds's unbeaten 143 ensures Australia are in good shape with 310 for 8.

Ian Harvey's (4-58) medium pace proves too tricky. He foxes them with his change of pace and Pakistan fall 82 runs short of the target. Australia kick off their title triumph march in style and the words "Symonds, you beauty," are on the lips of several Aussie fans in Johannesburg.

Bangladesh's bowling coach Courtney Walsh
Bangladesh's bowling coach Courtney Walsh

Did you know?
Quite a few West Indians from the 1996 World Cup team went on to become international coaches. Off-spinner Roger Harper coached the Windies from 2000 to 2003 while Sherwin Campbell guided the women's team from 2008 to 2015. Ottis Gibson coached England, WI and now SA. Courtney Walsh is Bangladesh's bowling coach and Curtly Ambrose's three-year stint as Windies' bowling consultant ended in May 2016.

England's Eoin Morgan
England's Eoin Morgan

Figured out
Eoin Morgan's first and last visits to the crease during the 2015 World Cup eventuated in ducks. The skipper was caught behind by Brad Haddin off Mitchell Marsh in his side's opener against Australia at Melbourne and was caught by Shakib Al Hasan on the hook from a short ball from Rubel Hossain in Adelaide. He didn't need to bat in England's last game against Afghanistan.

Kagiso Rabada

Man to watch
Kagiso Rabada
South African speedster Kagiso Rabada will figure in his first World Cup this year, but he is no stranger to the world stage since he guided SA to their first under-19 World Cup title in 2014. South Africa's opponents know by now that Rabada can be lethal with his swing and he will enjoy bowling in English conditions. He could form a deadly combination with Dale Steyn, the old fox, who will figure in his third World Cup. Rabada can be extremely swift and is no slouch when it comes to choking the opposition run-flow either.

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