We Are Proud Of The Way You Played: Sourav Ganguly To Team India
India go home after the semi-final with their heads held high. Yes, it was a loss against Australia, it was a loss against a team which was better than India on that particular day. However, India should be happy with their performance in the World Cup. When you play big-tournaments - the World Cups, the Wimbledon - you will come across these sort of games where it's a do-or-die situation. India were unfortunately on the losing side and they were outplayed by a very, very good Australian team in Sydney.
It was a good toss to win for Australia, and I'm not suggesting that toss is the only reason for a team to win or lose a game. South Africa lost the toss in the quarter-final and went on to win that game.
Australia batted brilliantly. Steve Smith looks from a different planet, and once again he gets a hundred against India in a big game. He been scoring hundreds since the Tests against India and that is a remarkable effort. When you get to 329, any team would be happy. And it allowed the Australians to put India under enormous pressure.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma made a good start, but when you're chasing such a big score, you need a bit more than just a good start. You need somebody to get a hundred, or a 150. Unfortunately that didn't happen for India. India started sliding after Shikhar Dhawan's wicket. It is always the case during a big chase - when you lose a wicket, the new player coming in finds it extremely difficult.
Virat Kohli failed. His record against Australia is just unbelievable and it was just one of the days where he couldn't score the required runs. The scoreboard pressure got to him and that can happen to any player in the world.
Australia are the deserved winners of the semi-finals and they proceed to the MCG to play the final game. This is probably Michael Clarke's final ODI game (Clarke confirmed his retirement soon after) for Australia.
India will be back home and watch the game on TV, but if the players are reading - We are very proud of the way you played and hopefully you will get better from here on.