India at the Cricket World Cup

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The Indian cricket team are the current World Champions. In addition to winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup on home ground, they won the 1983 Cricket World Cup. They were also runner-up at the 2003 Cricket World Cup, and semifinalists in the 1996 Cricket World Cup and in the 1987 Cricket World Cup.They came 6th place in the Super 6 in the 1999 World Cup and have been knocked out of the world cup 4 times in Group stage (1975, 1979, 1992 and 2007). India's win-loss record at the world cup is 39-26, with 1 match being tied and another one being drawn.

India at the 1975 World Cup[edit]

The 1975 Cricket World Cup was the first World Cup and comprised a number of 60-over matches. India were grouped with England, East Africa and New Zealand and played each of these teams once. In order to advance to the semi-finals they needed to place within the top 2 positions of their pool. However, the running was tough and India did not succeed, following a particularly infamous loss in their opening game.

India lost their first match to hosts England by 202 runs after England scored 334 (4 wickets, 60 overs) in their allotted overs, with help from DL Amiss (137 from 147 balls), and KWR Fletcher (68 from 107 balls), who shared a second-wicket partnership of 176 runs. Any hopes of an Indian win were lost after some extremely controversial batting by Sunil Gavaskar (36 from 174 balls, 1 four), who batted through the 60 overs for 36 not out as India scored 132 (3 wickets, 60 overs). This match was treated as a disgrace in India and the players were faced with much criticism. The rest of India's World Cup Campaign was less controversial; they picked up an easy 10 wicket win against minnows East Africa through some more intelligent batting by Sunil Gavaskar (65 from 86 balls, 9 fours) and Farokh Engineer (54 from 93 balls, 7 fours) before bowing out of the tournament in a must-win match against New Zealand. After scoring 230 all out in 60 overs, led by a half-century from Abid Ali (70 from 98 balls, 5 fours, 1 six), Glenn Turner (114 from 177 balls, 13 fours) brought New Zealand home with 4 wickets and 1.1 overs remaining. .

The Indian Squad of the 1975 World Cup comprised:

  • India's record: 1−2
  • West Indies's record: 5−0 (champions)

India at the 1979 World Cup[edit]

In the 1979 Cricket World Cup, India was grouped up with reigning champions the West Indies as well as New Zealand, and minnows Sri Lanka. Once again, the matches were played in 60-over ODI. India got off to a bad start after their top order capitulated to a strong West Indies, with only Gundappa Viswanath (75 from 134 balls, 7 fours) putting up any resistance. They eventually lost by 9 wickets, the only wicket being that of Desmond Haynes, nabbed LBW by Kapil Dev, as Gordon Greenidge (106 from 173 balls) put up an unbeaten West Indian century.

The next match practically ended their World Cup Campaign, with an 8-wicket loss at the hands of New Zealand. The match was reasonably close as India were all out for 182 with 5 overs to spare, with only Sunil Gavaskar (55 from 144 balls, 5 fours) putting up any resistance, and New Zealand had only 3 overs remaining to achieve their target. All bowlers gave little over 3 runs an over, but BA Edgar (84 from 167 balls) eventually brought New Zealand home, in a 100-run opening partnership with JG Wright. A demoralized India went into the last match against Sri Lanka as favourites, but they failed to chase down Sri Lanka's 238, losing by 47 runs. India ended their World Cup without managing to score above 200, a performance that generated renewed uproar in India.

The Indian Squad of the 1979 World Cup composed of:

  • India's record: 0−3
  • West Indies's record: 4−0 (champions, 1 match washed out)

India at the 1983 World Cup[edit]

In the 1983 Cricket World Cup, India was given a boost in that it would be able to play two matches against each of the three teams in its pool. The only minnows in the World Cup were the Zimbabwe cricket team, a team that India was grouped with. India were also grouped with the West Indies and Australia, creating formidable matchups for a team that had become known for its inability to perform in the World Cup.

India opened up their campaign against the favourites, the West Indies. But it shocked all observers with a 34 run victory thanks to a strong performance from Yashpal Sharma (89 from 120 balls, 9 fours). India totalled up 262 in 60 overs and tumbled the West Indies out for 228, thanks to a quick 3 wickets from Ravi Shastri. A confident team went on to deal out a thrashing against Zimbabwe, chasing down the total of 156 with 23 overs and 5 wickets to spare, helped by a half-century from Sandeep Patil (50 from 54 balls, 7 fours, 1 six). Madan Lal was the destroyer in chief with his three wickets. However, the confidence and morale were short-lived as India was dealt out a 162 run thrashing from Australia 2 days later. India collapsed to 158 attempting to chase Australia's mammoth 320.

As India entered the second half of the group stage, they opened up with a loss against the West Indies by 66 runs. Vivian Richards (119 from 146 balls) took the West Indies to 282 in 60 overs, a score that India was unable to chase despite Mohinder Amarnath's (80 from 139 balls) good innings. India's next match against Zimbabwe was to become famous for the remainder of history. The favourites, India, were 5-17 by an emerging Zimbabwe bowling lineup. A defeat would have made qualifying for the semifinal impossible, but Kapil Dev's (175 from 138 balls, 16 fours, 6 sixes)* famous innings took India to 266 (he combined with Syed Kirmani (24 from 56 balls, 2 fours) in a 126 run 9th wicket partnership). The Zimbabwe batsmen got starts but were once again hampered by Kapil Dev and Madan Lal who got 4 wickets between them. India ended up winning by 31 runs. However, the last match against Australia was still a must win. But India made light work, winning by 118 runs thanks to 4-wicket hauls by Madan Lal and Roger Binny.

India's semi-final match against England contained no drama. India coasting to a 6 wicket victory. The major contributors were Yashpal Sharma (61 from 115 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes), Mohinder Amarnath (46 from 92 balls, 4 fours, 1 six), and Sandeep Patil (51 from 32 balls, 8 fours) with the bat. Kapil Dev picked up 3-35 to seal a victory that took India to the World Cup final. The final was considered somewhat of an anticlimax, most expecting a clear West Indies win although India had beaten them in the preliminary rounds. The West Indies tumbled India out for 183, with Kris Srikkanth (38 from 57 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) top scoring, and were cruising on their way to a memorable victory at 2-57, with Vivian Richards (33 from 28 balls) at the head before suffering a major collapse. They were annihilated by the Indian bowlers and reached 6-76 before providing some sort of resistance. They were all out for 140, India won by 43 runs. The heroes of the day were Mohinder Amarnath (3/12 and 26) and Kris Srikkanth (top scorer with 38).

The Indian Squad that won the 1983 World Cup by kapil dev

India's record: 6−2 (champions)

India at the 1987 World Cup[edit]

India was the host of the 1987 Cricket World Cup and was expected to perform seeing as it was the reigning champions. It was grouped in Pool A with Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. The matches had been reduced to 50 overs to accommodate for the number of daylight hours on the Indian subcontinent. India's start to the tournament was bright, as it topped the pool, getting 5 wins and only 1 loss, this loss being by only 1 run. It carried this out despite the fact that it lacked the likes of its past World Cup heroes: Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal, India's team was still captained by Kapil Dev and featured veterans like Sunil Gavaskar.

The first match of the tournament for India was arguably the most eventful one. Australia won the match by just 1 run, after piling up 270 in their first innings, helped by a century from Geoff Marsh (110 from 141 balls). India began their innings brightly and were cruising at 2-207 before Navjot Sidhu (73 from 79 balls, 4 fours, 5 sixes) fell. This was followed by a spectacular middle order and tailend collapse that made India lost their last 8 wickets for just 62 runs. India were all out for 269 with one ball remaining in the match, leaving the possibility of a tie or victory within their grasp. The performance was heartening, however, because of the strong batting of Kris Srikkanth (70 from 83 balls, 7 fours) and Navjot Sidhu.

The second match against New Zealand was dramatic too, with Navjot Sidhu (75 from 71 balls, 4 fours, 4 sixes) once again rescuing India after India had fallen to 3/21, and Kapil Dev (72 from 58 balls, 4 fours, 1 six)*, cutting loose brilliantly in the later half of the innings, taking India to 252. India eventually pulled off a 16-run victory thanks to some economical bowling from Ravi Shastri and Mohammed Azharuddin. The rest of the group stage were smooth runnings for India, getting Zimbabwe all out for 135 and then beating them by 8 wickets in the third match. India beat Australia in the forth match by 56 runs after India totalled up 289 (6 wickets, 50 overs), with Dilip Vengsarkar (63 from 60 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes), Sunil Gavaskar (61 from 72 balls, 7 fours), Mohammed Azharuddin (54 from 45 balls, 5 fours, 1 six)* and Navjot Sidhu (51 from 70 balls, 2 fours) all scoring half-centuries, and a 7 wicket win over Zimbabwe, with Navjot Sidhu (55 from 61 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) never failing to score 40 in a memorable World Cup campaign. India sealed up the Group Stage with a 9-wicket thrashing of New Zealand, as their batsmen chased down 221 with 18 overs and 9 wickets to spare, thanks to a 136-run opening partnership between Kris Srikkanth (75 from 58 balls, 9 fours, 3 sixes), and Sunil Gavaskar (103 from 88 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes)*.

India went into the semi-finals facing the mouth-watering prospect of facing arch-rivals Pakistan in the final. But to the horror of fans, their world cup campaign ended in the Semis against England. Kapil Dev bowled strongly as England managed to put up 254 in the first innings, helped by strong performances from Graham Gooch (115 from 136 balls, 11 fours) and captain Mike Gatting (56 from 62 balls, 5 fours). But India was pushed out of contention as Navjot Sidhu and Sunil Gavaskar failed. A strong performance from Mohammed Azharuddin (64 from 74 balls, 7 fours) pulled India within reach of the target, but the tail failed to capitalize, India losing by 35 runs with 5 overs to spare.

The Indian Squad of the 1987 World Cup comprised:

  • India's record: 5−2 (semifinalist)
  • Australia's record: 7−1 (champions)

India at the 1992 World Cup[edit]

India began badly, losing to England by nine runs. Their second match against Sri Lanka was abandoned due to rain and Australia sneaked home in their third match by only 1 run, despite a strong batting performance from Mohammed Azharuddin (93 off 103 balls). Their first win of the tournament came in the next match against rivals Pakistan in which Sachin Tendulkar top-scored (54 runs,62 balls, 3 fours) and Kapil, Srinath and Prabhakar bowling well took 3 wickets each, followed by a win against minnows Zimbabwe, the win was by a commanding 55 runs, with Sachin Tendulkar (81 from 77 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) leading the way. India was practically knocked out of the tournament in the next match through its loss to the West Indies by 5 wickets. It went on to lose to New Zealand and South Africa. It only won 2 of its 8 matches, knocking it firmly out of contention for the semi-finals. India ended seventh on the table, above only Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Even the general player performances were at best, lackluster, Mohammed Azharuddin was the leading batsman, scoring 332 runs in 7 matches without a century included. Sachin Tendulkar scored 283 runs in 7 innings that included 3 fifties. Tendulkar also ended up with a strike rate of 83.98, 6th in the tournament. The highest batting strike rate in the tournament was that of Kapil Dev, who carried a strike rate of 124.81.

The Indian Squad of the 1992 World Cup comprised:

  • India's record: 2−5 (1 drawn match)
  • Pakistan's record: 6−3 (champions, 1 drawn match)

India at the 1996 World Cup[edit]

Sachin Tendulkar, the top-scorer for the tournament

India were the co-hosts of the 1996 Cricket World Cup along with Pakistan and Sri Lanka and were expected to perform well at home. Changes in format included the re-use of a group format, in which there were two pools of six, after which the top four from each group prgogressed to the quarter-finals. India was placed in Group A with Australia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe. With the West Indies beginning to lose their grip on ODI cricket and with the inclusion of two minnows in their group, India were expected to cruise into the quarter-finals.

India started their World cup campaign well with beating Kenya, first restricting them to 199/6, Kumble taking 3/28 and then chasing it down easily to win by 7 wickets with Sachin Tendulkar's brilliant century (127 from 138 balls, 15 fours, 1 six). India's next match against the West Indies went much the same way: after bowling the West Indies side out for 173 with Kumble capturing 3/35, Sachin Tendulkar (70 runs, 91 balls, 8 fours) led the way to another victory.

India then faced tournament favourites Australia in Bombay, and the tourists batted first after winning the toss. Mark Waugh (126 from 135 balls) and Mark Taylor (59 from 73 balls) set the foundation with a 103 run opening stand, and Australia reached 3/232 before Waugh was dismissed for 126. Australia suffered five run-outs, four in the last ten overs whilst chasing quick runs, with Venkatesh Prasad and Raju taking two wickets each. India's chase started poorly, with Ajay Jadeja and Vinod Kambli dismissed by Damien Fleming with only seven runs scored. Sachin Tendulkar (90 from 84 balls, 14 fours, 1 six) counter-attacked ferociously, and India were well ahead of the required run rate at 3/143 when Tendulkar charged a wide from Mark Waugh and was stumped for 90. From there onward, the run chase began to falter, with only Sanjay Manjrekar managing 62 from 91 balls, resulting in a 16 run loss, dismissed for 242 in the 48th over.

India then faced Sri Lanka in a batsman dominated match in Delhi. Sachin Tendulkar blasted another fantastic run-a-ball century (137 from 137 balls, 8fours, 5 sixes) and captain Mohammed Azharuddin made 72 from 80 balls in a 175 run partnership as India compiled 3/271. However, the opening pair of Romesh Kaluwitharana and Sanath Jayasuriya launched Sri Lanka to 42 after just three overs. Jayasuriya managed to score 79 from 77 balls, leaving the score at 4/141. With the run-rate under control, Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga (46*) and Hashan Tillakaratne (70*) made a 131 run partnership to steer them to a six wicket win with eight balls remaining. Kumble led the bowling with 2/39 whilst Prabhakar was punished for 47 runs in four overs.

India ended the group stage against Zimbabwe in Kanpur, who won the toss and sent the Indians in to bat. After slumping to 3/32, Sidhu (80 from 116 balls, 5 fours) and Vinod Kambli (106 from 110 balls, 11 fours) put on 142 runs before Jadeja finished off the innings with 44* from 27 balls to total 5/247. The Zimbabweans lost wickets at regular intervals and fell 40 runs short, with Raju taking 3/30 and Kumble, Srinath and Jadeja two each.

India's third placing in the group left them with a quarter final matchup against arch rivals Pakistan, who had finished second in their group at Bangalore. The match had a huge leadup, and Pakistani captain Wasim Akram withdrew due to injury. India elected to bat after winning the toss, with Navjot Sidhu (93 from 115 balls, 11 fours) and Tendulkar reaching 90 before the fall of Tendulkar. Sidhu went on to fall just short of a century, and although wickets fell regularly, the Indians continued to score quickly, with Jadeja scoring a rapid 45 from 25 balls in the final overs, including 40 from Waqar Younis' last two overs. Prasad and Kumble then took three wickets each to keep Pakistan to 248 to complete a memorable victory. This resulted in widespread disappointment in Pakistan, leading to a government inquiry, crowd demonstrations outside players' homes and the suicide of one distraught fan.

India were faced Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens in Calcutta and sent Sri Lanka in to bat first. Both Kaluwitharana and Jayasuriya were dismissed in Srinath's first over, uppercutting wide balls down to third man. Srinath then removed Asanka Gurusinha to leave the score at 3/35. However half centuries from Aravinda de Silva (66 from 47 balls) and Roshan Mahanama (58 from 101 balls) helped Sri Lanka to a total of 8/251. India made a solid start, with Sachin Tendulkar (65 from 88 balls, 9 fours) scoring a half-century and taking India to 1/98. However, the pitch began to crumble and take more spin, and when Tendulkar was stumped, the incoming batsmen were unable to cope with the four pronged spin-attack of Jayasuriya (3/12), de Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Dharmasena, who took 6 wickets as India lost 7/22 to slump to 8/120. At this point, sections of the crowd began setting fire to the stands and throwing missiles onto the field. Play was stopped as the crowd's anger began to develop into a dangerous riot. Umpires decided that Sri Lanka be awarded the game due to India's hopeless position, knocking them out of the World Cup.

India's campaign was highlighted by the consistency of Sachin Tendulkar, who managed 50 or more in all but two of his matches. With 523 runs at 87.16, Tendulkar was the leading run scorer in the entire World Cup, with two of his six dismissal due to run outs rather than batting errors. His 137 against Sri Lanka was the 4th highest of the entire tournament and his partnership of 175 with Azharuddin the fourth highest in the tournament. No other Indian batsmen aggregated 250 runs. India was also bolstered by the performances of Anil Kumble, who was leading wicket taker in the entire tournament with 15 wickets at 18.73 apiece and also the leading catcher, with eight catches. Raju, Prasad and Srinath were tied in tenth spot with eight wickets each.

The Indian Squad of the 1996 World Cup comprised:

India used Srinath and Prasad in each game as opening pace bowlers, with Kumble as the spinner. Depending on the pitch conditions, Raju was used four times as a second spinner, whilst Ankola and Kapoor played in the other matches as a spinner. Mongia, Tendulkar, Azharuddin, Kambli and Jadeja played in all matches, whilst Manjrekar, Sidhu and Prabhakar contested two positions in the team, with Prabhakar used as a fifth pace option. good match

  • India's record: 4−3 (semifinalist)
  • Sri Lanka's record: 8−0 (champions, won two matches by walkovers)

India at the 1999 World Cup[edit]

The 1999 Cricket World Cup in England was one in which India were not expected to perform too well. Despite having the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, they weren't having too much of a good run. India was placed in Group A in the pool rounds against South Africa, Zimbabwe, hosts England, reigning champions Sri Lanka and minnows Kenya.

India opened up with a close loss to South Africa in the final overs of the match. Although South Africa won by 4 wickets, the match was not without drama as South Africa had to score had approximately a run a ball in the last 10 overs. The match featured a good performance from Sourav Ganguly (97 from 142 balls, 11 fours, 1 six) and Rahul Dravid (54 from 75 balls, 5 fours). None of the bowlers backed up the batting performance however, with Javagal Srinath the leading wicket-taker despite being very expensive. South Africa scored runs more quickly than India did, with Jacques Kallis (96 from 128 balls) leading the way. India then appeared to have lost all form as they lost to Zimbabwe in a 3-run thriller. India were without the services of Sachin Tendulkar in this match as the star batsman flew to India after his father's death.The tailenders embarrassed supporters as India, chasing 252, went from 7/246 to all out for 249 with 3 overs left.

India made up for their early losses with a very convincing win over Kenya by 94 runs. India scored 2/329 through centuries from Sachin Tendulkar's ferocious ton (140 from 101 balls, 16 fours, 3 sixes) who rejoined the team and Rahul Dravid (104 from 109 balls, 10 fours), also near a run a ball. The pair scored 237 in 29 overs at a run rate of 8.17 before Mohanty wiped up the Kenyan batsmen with a 4-wicket-haul. They followed on with a record win against Sri Lanka by 157 runs. Sourav Ganguly (183 from 158 balls, 17 fours, 7 sixes) and Rahul Dravid (145 from 129 balls, 17 fours, 1 six) picked up two centuries at over a run a ball to get India to a total of 6/373, sharing a partnership of 318 runs in 44.9 overs. Sri Lanka were then rattled through a 5-wicket haul from Robin Singh (5/31 in 9.3 overs). They went on to seal a place in the Super Six competition with a win against home side England by 63 runs; once again Sourav Ganguly (40 from 59 balls, 6 fours) and Rahul Dravid (53 from 82 balls, 6 fours) starred with the bat, while a strong team effort with the ball got England all out for just 169.

India entered the Super Sixes segment as the team that came second in Pool A. Their strong performances in the Pool Stage did not give them a point boost going into the next segment, as they had taken losses to both of the other teams that had advanced through to the next stage from Pool A. They began badly through a loss against Australia by 77 runs, with only Ajay Jadeja (100 from 138 balls, 7 fours, 2 sixes) and Robin Singh (75 from 94 balls, 5 fours, 3 sixes) putting up any resistance. They then continued their now extremely strong record against Pakistan in World Cup's with yet another convincing victory over their long-term rivals; the win was by 47 runs. Rahul Dravid (61 from 89 balls, 4 fours) and Mohammed Azharuddin (59 from 77 balls, 3 fours, 1 six), led the way as India posted a total of 227 (6 wickets, 50 overs). Venkatesh Prasad then wiped up the Pakistani batsmen, taking 5 wickets for 27 runs as Pakistan was bowled all out for 180 (all out, 45.3 overs). The match was even more significant than usual as the two nations were at war with each other (see 1999 Kargil Conflict). As events between the other teams unfolded, India were eliminated from the tournament, to India, the last match of the tournament against New Zealand was a dead rubber. In the end India lost the thriller by 5 wickets, as New Zealand achieved the target of 252 with just 8 balls to spare, despite a strong performance from Ajay Jadeja (76 from 103 balls, 6 fours, 2 six).

Despite being eliminated and being forced to play a dead rubber there were some plus-points for the Indian team leaving the world cup. The consistency and effectiveness of batting trio: Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly was yet to be fully experienced. Despite not making the semi-finals, Rahul Dravid, being involved in two mammoth partnerships, was the leading run-scorer of the entire tournament with 461 runs at 65.85. The top 3 highest scores of the tournament were that of Indians, with Sourav Ganguly's 183, Rahul Dravid's 145 and Sachin Tendulkar's 140* higher than any other scores in the tournament.

The Indian Squad for the 1999 World Cup comprised:

India at the 2003 World Cup[edit]

Like in the previous World Cup, India began their 2003 Cricket World Cup campaign in South Africa on a string of poor performances, having just come off a disastrous series in New Zealand. The 1999 World Cup format was retained for the tournament. The Indian team was somewhat stronger than the team representing them in the 1999 World Cup, but still contained the batting trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly and the pace-spin duo of Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble, now accompanied by rising talents Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Kaif and Virender Sehwag. India were placed in Group A, accompanied by Holland, Australia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, England and rivals Pakistan.

India had a horrid beginning to the tournament. Their first match was against minnows Holland, who tumbled the Indian batsmen out for just 204 (all out, 48.5 overs, 206 minutes), with only Tendulkar (52 from 72 balls, 7 fours) putting up resistance, although veterans Srinath and Kumble reverted the damage with 4 wickets each and India ended up winning by 68 runs, the unconvincing victory setting the stage for immense criticism. The next match on India's list was against the defending champion Australia. The Indian team, batting first, was steadily making progress at 41/1 when disaster struck. Sehwag's wicket triggered a middle order collapse that left India struggling at 50/5 having lost 4 wickets for 9 runs. Tendulkar and Harbhajan offered some resistance but the damage was done as India were out for 125 (all out, 41.4 overs, 176 minutes). Australia scored the target in 22.2 overs, only losing one wicket. The Indian performances in the first two matches triggered uproar within India. Player effigies were said to be burnt on streets and the Board of Control for Cricket in India was under immense pressure to reshuffle the team at the end of the World Cup. This reaction at home may have triggered the Indian performances in the remainder of the World Cup.

India moved onto their third match (against Zimbabwe), lacking confidence. Tendulkar (81 from 91 balls, 10 fours) took India to 255 (7 wickets, 50 overs) and 3 wickets from Ganguly set the stage for a strong 83 run win by the Indians. This was followed by a 181 run thrashing handed out to minnows Namibia. Tendulkar (152 from 151 balls, 18 fours) and Ganguly (112 from 119 balls, 6 fours, 4 sixes) both scored centuries, contributing to a second-wicket partnership of 244 runs in 39.5 overs to take India to 311 (2 wickets, 50 overs, 207 minutes). Namibia were then all out for 130 (all out, 42.3 overs, 163 minutes) thanks to 4 wickets from part-timer Yuvraj. The man of the match was Tendulkar in both matches.

India finished off their engagements in Group A with an 82 run victory over England and a 6 wicket victory over Pakistan. Paceman Ashish Nehra achieved 6/23 against England to help India defend 250 as England were all out for 168. The Indian batting was bolstered by half-centuries from Tendulkar and Yuvraj. The match against Pakistan was (and still is) noted for being a match in which Tendulkar played one of his best-ever ODI innings. Chasing 274, Tendulkar (98 from 75 balls, 12 fours, 1 six) pulled off a near century, only to get out after suffering from cramps, to guide India to an unlikely victory. Tendulkar was once again awarded the Man of the Match. With 5 victories and 1 loss from 6 matches, India finished second in Group A and qualified for the Super Six stage.

India were untroubled in the Super Six stage and continued their streak of strong performances with three wins out of three matches, earning it a berth in the semifinals. The wins were comfortable, beating Kenya by 6 wickets through a century from Ganguly (107 from 120 balls, 11 fours, 2 sixes); beating Sri Lanka by 183 runs thanks to scores of 97 off 120 balls from Tendulkar, 66 off 76 balls from Sehwag and 4/35 from Srinath, the latter being awarded the Man of the Match. This match was particularly infamous from a Sri Lankan point of view because there were five Sri Lankan batsmen that got out for 'ducks', or without scoring a single run. The team's last match in the Super Six stage was against New Zealand, which it also won comfortably, thanks to Zaheer's 4/42 which bundled out the Black Caps for 146, and patient knocks from Kaif (68 not out off 129 balls) and Dravid (53 not out off 89 balls).

In the semifinals, India played Kenya. The match was not dramatic. Tendulkar (83 from 101 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and Ganguly (111 from 114 balls, 5 fours, 5 sixes) took India to 270/4 in their 50 overs, from where a combined bowling effort from India's bowlers got Kenya all out for 179. This brought India into the finals for the first time since 1983, where they faced a strong Australia, who had dominated the tournament from the start with an all-win record.

The final, played on 23 March 2003 at Johannesburg, saw Ganguly electing to field first after winning the toss, in the hope that his pacers would exploit a damp pitch. However, the plan backfired completely on India as Australia dominated from the very start, achieving 105 runs in 14 overs before losing a single wicket. Australian captain Ricky Ponting (140 from 121 balls), and Damien Martyn (88 from 84 balls) took Australia to an Australian record of 359 for the loss of only 2 wickets off their 50 overs, a record that would not be beaten until 2006. Chasing a mammoth 360 to win, India never stood a chance after Tendulkar lost his wicket for just 4. Sehwag (82 from 81 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes) and Dravid (47 from 57 balls, 2 fours) shared a partnership of 88 runs in 13.2 overs, bringing India to 147/3. With India scoring at 5.96 runs an over, it seemed that it would end up creating a miracle by winning the match, but the remaining Indian batsmen struggled against the Aussie pace attack of Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee and fell to cheap shots while trying to accelerate the scoring rate. India lost their last 7 wickets for only 87 runs and crashed to 234 all out in the 40th over, losing the match by 125 runs.

Though it finished the tournament as the runners-up, there were a huge amount of bright sides for India. Firstly, Tendulkar was awarded the Man of the Tournament award for being the leading run scorer with 673 runs. Ganguly ended up as the second leading run scorer in the tournament, but 208 runs behind Tendulkar. Tendulkar's 152 against Namibia was the second highest score of the tournament and he achieved an average of 61.18. Secondly, there were upsides in the bowling department as well with Zaheer 4th on the wicket takers list. Finally, India as a team had achieved a streak of 9 wins and 2 losses from 11 matches, with both losses coming against the tournament winners Australia.

The Indian Squad that were the Runners-up of the 2003 World Cup comprised:

  • India's record: 9−2 (runner-up)
  • Australia's record: 11−0 (champions)

India at the 2007 World Cup[edit]

India, this time had gone to the West Indies with 2 convincing home series wins against West Indies and Sri Lanka. For the 2007 tournament, India had what was considered a decent World Cup squad, as it had three batsmen who had scored more than 10,000 ODI runs (Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid), world class spin bowlers in Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble, destructive batsmen in Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and a decent pace bowling attack led by Zaheer Khan. The format of this tournament was completely different from the 1999 and 2003 formats. Teams were divided into groups of 4, with the top two teams from each group moving on to the Super 8s, where they would play each other in a round-robin format. India was placed in Group B, pitted against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and World Cup debutants Bermuda.

India's World Cup campaign started disastrously, as they unexpectedly lost to minnows Bangladesh in the opener, leaving them with two must-win matches in their group. All Indian batsmen, barring Ganguly (63) and Yuvraj (47), faltered against the pace of Mashrafe Mortaza and the left arm spin of Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafique.

India next scored 413/5 against Bermuda, the highest score by India in one-day cricket and the highest team total in a World Cup game. Sehwag, who was out of form and was selected in the team only at captain Dravid's insistence, rediscovered his form with a brilliant 114. Ganguly, Yuvraj and Tendulkar too destroyed the amateur Bermudan bowling, scoring 89, 83 and 57 respectively. India won the game by 257 runs, but it still needed to beat Sri Lanka in their last group match in order to enter the Super 8s.

At the Queen's Park Oval at Trinidad on 23 March 2007, the Indian pace bowlers made early inroads, dismissing the danger men, veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara early. Upul Tharanga and Chamara Silva consolidated, making half centuries each and the Sri Lankan innings ended at 254 for the loss of 6 wickets.

Chasing 255 for victory, the Indian batting crumbled against the Sri Lankan bowling attack, crashing to 185 all out in the 44th over. Only Dravid and Sehwag showed some resistance against the pace of Lasith Malinga, Chaminda Vaas and Dilhara Fernando and the spin of Muttiah Muralitharan and Jayasuriya. Tendulkar and Dhoni fell for ducks, and Yuvraj was run out for 6. With one victory and two losses, India's hopes of entering the Super 8s were now grim and depended on a Bermuda victory over Bangladesh by a heavy margin in the last Group B match. But with Bangladesh beating Bermuda, India crashed out of the World Cup in the first round, the first time since 1992.

Apart from Sehwag (164), Ganguly (162) and Yuvraj (136) no other Indian batsman could accumulate even 100 runs in their 3 matches. Ganguly was the only batsman who looked consistent with 2 half-centuries in 3 matches.

After the debacle, Kumble retired from ODI cricket, while embattled coach Greg Chappell resigned after reports that none of the senior players, including Tendulkar, were happy with him and his coaching methods. However, Dravid retained the captaincy. There were several attacks on players homes and protests by infuriated fans, especially in Bangalore and Mumbai.

The 2007 Indian world cup team comprised:

  • India's record: 1−2
  • Australia's record: 11−0 (champions)

India at the 2011 World Cup[edit]

As the host nation for the 2011 World Cup, India were expected to perform well, and were considered pre-tournament favorites by the media and press. Like in 2007, India came into the World Cup on a string of strong performances, both at home and abroad.

The Indian team was generally considered to be the strongest batting side in the tournament. Openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar anchored a star-studded batting lineup, followed by the talented Gautam Gambhir, rising star Virat Kohli batted in the upper top order with 3 and 4 position respectively, and the explosive Yuvraj Singh, Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni batted in at the No. 5 and 6 spots, respectively. and The Hard Hitter all-rounder Yusuf Pathan batted at No 7 In The Early Stages Of The Tournament . Though because of the poor form in the matches, he was replaced by another explosive batsmen Suresh Raina at No. 7, which became a great decision by Indian skipper dhoni with back to back good performances by Raina . While the bowling attack was considered more suspect, two veterans in paceman Zaheer Khan and offspinner Harbhajan Singh were joined by newcomers Munaf Patel, Ashish Nehra, Piyush Chawla, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Shantakumaran Sreesanth.

India’s 2011 World Cup campaign started with an 87-run win against an overmatched Bangladesh squad in Dhaka. Behind centuries from Virender Sehwag (175 from 140 balls, 14 fours, 5 sixes) and Virat Kohli (100 n.o. from 83 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) India scored 4/370. Munaf Patel (4-48) took 4 wickets during the Bangladesh reply, including that of opener Tamim Iqbal (70 from 86 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) as Bangladesh scored 9/283 in 50 overs to fall short.

India next played England at Bangalore. On a batting-friendly track at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, India chose to bat first. Sachin Tendulkar (120 from 115 balls, 10 fours, 5 sixes) lashed his way through the English attack, ably supported by Gautam Gambhir (51 from 61 balls, 5 fours) and Yuvraj Singh (58 from 50 balls, 9 fours). After the 45th over, India was 3/305 and were looking to pass 350 during the batting Powerplay. Instead, English bowler Tim Bresnan (5-48) engineered a collapse with four quick wickets in 16 deliveries, as India slumped to a still-formidable total of 338 all out. England started their run chase by blasting 77 runs off the first 10 overs. Andrew Strauss (158 from 145 balls, 18 fours, 1 six) decimated the Indian bowling attack with unparalleled ferocity, and was supported by Ian Bell (69 from 71 balls, 4 fours, 1 six). At 2/280 in the 43rd over, England was cruising to an extraordinary victory. However, Zaheer Khan responded by taking the wickets of Strauss, Bell, and Paul Collingwood in 11 deliveries, as England were reduced to 6/289. Tailenders Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, and Ajmal Shahzad each hit massive sixes in the final few overs to regain some momentum, and Swann scored 13 runs off the final over to salvage a tie with India (8/338 in 50 overs). It was only the fourth tied match in World Cup history.

In their third group match, India defeated minnows Ireland by 5 wickets. After winning the toss and choosing to field, India’s bowling attack proved superior to the Irish batting lineup. Yuvraj Singh (5-31 in 10 overs) was the chief destroyer, taking five successive wickets – including the top scorer for Ireland, William Porterfield (75 from 104 balls, 6 fours, 1 six). Ireland was eventually bowled all out for 207. During their reply, India slumped to 4/100, as the batting lineup struggled to cope with the tight and accurate Irish bowling. Once again, however, Yuvraj Singh (50 n.o. from 75 balls, 3 fours) helped the Indian side with an unbeaten half-century, and guided his nation to a five-wicket victory.

India’s fourth match was against the Netherlands, at Feroz Shah Kotla. After choosing to bat first, Netherlands was restricted to 189 all out, with Zaheer Khan (3-20) and Yuvraj Singh (2-43) doing most of the damage. Despite Virender Sehwag’s blistering start, India’s run-chase started out poorly, as they slumped to 4/99. And, once again, it was Yuvraj Singh (51 from 73 balls, 7 fours) who guided India to victory in a crucial 5th-wicket stand with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In the fifth match against South Africa,India started weel riding on the power hitting of Virender Sehwag (73 from 66 balls, 12 fours), Tendulkar (111 from 101 balls, 8 fours, 3 sixes), and Gautam Gambhir (69 from 75 balls, 7 fours). However, India lost their last 9 wickets for 29 runs in a massive collapse, slumping to 296 all out. Hashim Amla (61 from 72 balls, 5 fours) and Jacques Kallis (69 from 88 balls, 4 fours) top-scored in the reply, as South Africa chased down the total with only 3 wickets and 2 deliveries to spare. AB de Villiers (52 from 39 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) scored a quick half-century to keep South Africa ahead of the required run rate. It was India’s first loss in their World Cup campaign.

India’s final group match was against the West Indies in Chennai. India chose to bat first. Yuvraj Singh (113 from 123 balls, 10 fours, 2 sixes) and Virat Kohli (59 from 76 balls, 5 fours) batted well but received little support from the rest of the lineup, as India were all out for 268. With Devon Smith (81 from 97 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) leading the way, the West Indies reached 2/154 before losing their last 8 wickets for 34 runs, allowing India to coast to an 80-run victory. With this victory, India reached the quarterfinals and finished second in Group B.

In the quarterfinals, India faced defending champions Australia in Ahmedabad. Australia won the toss and chose to bat first. Captain Ricky Ponting (104 from 118 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) and Brad Haddin (53 from 62 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) scored fluently, but Ravi Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, and Yuvraj Singh took wickets at regular intervals to restrict Australia to 6/260 in 50 overs. Tendulkar (53 from 68 balls, 7 fours) Gambhir (50 from 64 balls, 2 fours) and Yuvraj Singh (57 n.o. from 65 balls, 8 fours) all scored half-centuries in the reply, as India chased down the target with 5 wickets and 14 deliveries to spare.[1]

India next played arch-rival Pakistan in the semifinals. India won the toss and chose to bat first. Despite Sehwag’s customary fast start (38 from 25 balls, 9 fours), the India batsmen had trouble coping with the Pakistani bowling attack. Wahab Riaz (5-46) took a 5-wicket haul for Pakistan, and Tendulkar (85 from 115 balls, 11 fours) top-scored for India despite being dropped four times in the field. With India slumping at 5/187, Suresh Raina (36 from 39 balls, 3 fours) shored up the tail as India reached 9/260 in 50 overs. All five Indian bowlers took two wickets in the Pakistani reply, as Pakistan fell behind the run rate and were bowled all out for 231 with 1 delivery remaining. Misbah-ul-Haq (56 from 76 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) top scored for Pakistan, but his slow start allowed the required run-rate to balloon beyond Pakistan’s reach.[2]

This set up an India-Sri Lanka matchup for the final, held at Wankhede Stadium. On a batting-friendly pitch, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first. Zaheer Khan (2-60), using the new ball, bowled three maiden overs and took the wicket of Upul Tharanga to leave Sri Lanka at 1/31 after 10 overs – their lowest 10-over score in the tournament. However, Mahela Jayawardene (103 from 88 balls, 13 fours) rebuilt the Sri Lankan innings with a superb century, helped by captain Kumar Sangakkara (48 from 67 balls, 5 fours). Nuwan Kulasekara (32 from 30 balls, 1 four, 1 six) and Thisara Perera (22 from 9 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) plundered 91 runs from the last 10 overs, lifting Sri Lanka to a formidable total of 6/274 after 50 overs.

India’s run chase began badly, as Sehwag and Tendulkar were bowled cheaply by Lasith Malinga (2-42) to leave India at 2/31 from 6.1 overs. However, Gautam Gambhir rebuilt the Indian innings with an 83-run partnership for the third wicket with Virat Kohli (35 from 49 balls, 4 fours). After Kohli was caught and bowled to leave India at 3/114, Gambhir (97 from 122 balls, 9 fours) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91 n.o. from 79 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) scored 109 runs for the fourth wicket, in a vicious attack on the tiring Sri Lankan bowlers. After Gambhir played on, Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni carried India to the required total, with Dhoni blasting a massive six off the final delivery. India would win the match by six wickets. Dhoni was named Man of the Match for his assault on the Sri Lankan bowling attack. With the win, India secured their first World Cup finals victory since 1983.[3]

There were a huge number of positives for the Indian side in the tournament. Sachin Tendulkar scored 482 runs, and was the second-highest run scorer in the tournament after Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan.[4] Zaheer Khan took 21 wickets, and was the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup along with Shahid Afridi.[5] Yuvraj Singh, who scored 362 runs and took 15 wickets, was named Man of the Tournament.[6]

The 2011 Indian world cup team comprised:

  • India's record: 7-1 (1 tied match) (champions)

References[edit]