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5 iconic India-Australia clashes in World Cup cricket

Tendulkar almost won the match for India 
Abhinav Massey

The India-Australia cricketing rivalry has been among the greatest in recent times across all formats of the game. Even though the Australians have dominated to some extent in terms of results, the Indian team has always put up a tough fight and has managed to down their rivals on a number of occasions.

Team India and the Aussies have also enjoyed an iconic rivalry in World Cups and have produced some heart-stopping encounters over the years. Most of their matches have been of great significance in the context of the tournament and the result has made a huge difference to the respective campaigns of the two teams.

As India and Australia collide once again for a spot in the semi-finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016, we revisit some of the memorable matches between them in past World Cups.

India vs Australia at Mumbai, 1996 Wills World Cup

India hosted the 50-over World Cup in 1996, alongside neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka. As was expected, the Indians and the Aussies were among the favourites to lift the trophy even before the tournament began.

While the format of the tournament was such that the big teams quite easily made it to the quarter-finals, the Group A match between India and Australia was undoubtedly a big one. Batting first, the Australians rode a Mark Waugh century to post a total of 258, which was considered a very formidable one back in those days.

A younger version of Sachin Tendulkar led India's charge and was threatening to run away with the match. But Australia got a lucky break when Ian Healy stumped the master batsman off the bowling of century-maker Waugh.

The match turned on its head from there and Team India were bowled out for 242, losing the match by a small margin of 16 runs.

India vs Australia at Chennai, 1987 Reliance World Cup

Sidhu smashed 73 but could not help India win

Among one of the epic India-Australia matches in World Cups was their Group A clash in the 1987 World Cup hosted jointly by India and Pakistan. It was the first of two humdingers between the two teams in back-to-back ODI World Cups.

Australia batted first and a century by the great Geoff Marsh propelled their score to a huge 270 for 6 in their 50 overs. Manoj Prabhakar was the pick of the bowlers for India with figures of 2 for 47.

India's top order trio of Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikkanth and Navjot Singh Sidhu gave the Indians a perfect platform to chase down the target of 271. While Gavaskar scored 37 off 32, Srikkanth and Sidhu got 70 and 73 respectively.

Big Aussie paceman Craig McDermott brought his team back in the match by picking up 4 quick wickets and destroying the backbone of the Indian batting line-up. Despite dominating the match at one stage, India eventually lost the World Cup encounter by an agonising margin of 1 run.

India vs Australia at Brisbane, 1992 Benson & Hedges World Cup

David Boon in action against India in the 1992 World Cup

One of the most memorable World Cup matches between India and Australia came during the 1992 edition, which was co-hosted by the Aussies and New Zealand. Both teams had a pretty disastrous World Cup campaign and eventually crashed out in the group stage.

But they played out a classic which turned out to be among the most exciting matches in the tournament. After winning the toss, the hosts decided to bat first and managed to post a total of 237 for 9 on the board, thanks to a strokeful 90 by Dean Jones.

Rain interrupted the Indian innings and their target was revised to 236 from 47 overs as per the controversial rain rule. Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin led from the front with an enterprising innings of 93 and was well supported by Sanjay Manjrekar, who scored 47.

The innings lost course after Azhar was run out with India on 194 for 5 as India lost their next 5 wickets for just 40 runs and were dismissed for 234. Once again, the Indians lost a World Cup game to Australia by only 1 run.

India vs Australia at Ahmedabad, 2011 ICC World Cup

Yuvraj Singh exults after leading India to victory

India's second World Cup triumph came at home in the year 2011 when they beat Sri Lanka in the final. However, they collided by long-time rivals Australia on their road to the final, that too in a high-octane clash like a World Cup quarter-final.

The stakes were high for both teams going into the match. While the Indians were looking to move one more step towards their 2nd ODI World Cup title, the Aussies were looking to stay alive in their quest for a fourth consecutive winners trophy.

The Australian team won the toss and batted first, scoring 260 for 6 in their 50 overs. Ricky Ponting scored 104 from 118 balls and received good support from wicket-keeper Brad Haddin who scored 53.

As he has done many times in his illustrious career, Sachin Tendulkar led the way for Team India with a half-century. Gautam Gambhir too, scored 50 from 64 balls and India were looking on course for an easy victory.

However, they lost 3 wickets in the space of 10 overs and were in a spot of bother needing 74 to win in 12.3 overs. It is at this stage that Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina took charge of the situation and took India home with 14 balls to spare.

India vs Australia at Durban, 2007 ICC World Twenty20

India rejoice after beating Australia in the 2007 T20 World Cup

While the 50-over format has seen some great encounters between India and Australia at World Cups, the T20 World Cup has only seen one match which can be termed as a closely contested affair. It was the semi-final of the inaugural World Twenty20 played in Durban, South Africa.

A 30-ball 70 by in-form batsman Yuvraj Singh skyrocketed India's total to 188 in their 20 overs. It was supposed to be a tough target for the Australians, but they played some great attacking cricket to be placed at 134 for 2 in 14.3 overs.

However, Indian bowler Sreesanth provided them with a vital breakthrough by dismissing the dangerous Matthew Hayden for 62. This was the opening Team India needed to claw their way back into the match and they ensured that it did not get wasted by registering a 15-run victory in the match.

The win catapulted them into the final against arch-rivals Pakistan, a match which they won by 5 runs to win the first ever T20 World Cup.

Edited by Staff Editor

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