Team India boasts of two World Cup titles, one from 1983 and the most recent one in 2011. However, prior to 1983, India made a very slow start to the World Cup in 1975 and 1979. In fact, till the early 1980s, the Indian team found it tough to win ODI matches with just two wins from 11 matches.
In the 1975 Prudential World Cup, India went in with almost no experience of ODI cricket, and all they had to show for their efforts was a win over the part-time cricketers from East Africa.
In 1979, they lost all their three group matches, including a loss against Sri Lanka, the only team as part of the associate members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) at that time. Hence, it was quite a surprise when India clinched the title in 1983 after defeating the hot favorites West Indies. Since then, they have become a powerhouse in world cricket, finishing as the runners-up in 2003 and clinching their second title in 2011.
The Indian players have produced some stellar performances through most of the World Cup tournaments. Kapil Dev and Mohinder Amarnath were the stars in 1983, while MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh stole the show in the 2011 World Cup.
Riding on the back of the stellar form of the top three batsmen and a formidable bowling attack, India start the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup as one of the favourites for winning the tournament.
Here, we recount some of the golden moments in India's World Cup journey.
#1 The stunning defeat of reigning champions West Indies in the opening encounter in 1983
Two-time champions West Indies had never lost a match in the World Cup while India had won only one of their six matches - against East Africa eight years earlier - and had finished last in their group in the previous edition of the World Cup.
The other known parameter was the wet Manchester weather and, true to form, early morning rain delayed the start. Predictably, the West Indies had India in trouble. At 141 for five it seemed like a familiar story. The gritty Yashpal Sharma batted with a tremendous application, and in the company of Roger Binny put on 73 priceless runs for the sixth wicket.
Yashpal's 89 off 120 deliveries inclusive of nine fours was perhaps the innings of his life. At 262 for eight in their 60 overs, India had a total good enough to stretch the champions. A customary rousing start was but a mirage on this occasion. Both Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes fell on either side of the half-century mark.
At stumps, the score read 67 for two, with 22 overs already bowled. When play resumed the next morning, the asking-rate was well above five-an-over. With a keen tussle on, India were jubilant as the mighty Vivian Richards was taken behind by Syed Kirmani off Binny in the second over of the day.
The West Indies were already on the back foot and consistent wickets saw them staring down the barrel at 157-9 with 106 runs still required. Andy Roberts and Joel Garner dug in and, as the score mounted. However, Ravi Shastri enticed Garner out of the crease and Kirmani dislodged the bails as India registered a famous 34-run win.
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