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Top 10 run scorers for India in World Cup history

India v South Africa: Group B - 2011 ICC World Cup
India v South Africa: Group B - 2011 ICC World Cup
Gautam Lalotra

In every global sport, the World Cup or the World Championships is the pinnacle of competition for every top-notch sportsman. Every sportsman dreams of winning a World Cup with their respective team or becoming a World Champion to complete their sporting resume. We have seen global sporting icons like Pele, Maradona, Usain Bolt, Lin Dan, Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi who have become all-time greats of their sport winning the World Cup or World Championships.

In cricket, ODI legends of the sport like Sir Vivian Richards, Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni to name a few have achieved glittering success by the becoming World Cup winners in their stellar ODI careers.

Batting maestros like Sachin, Lara, Ponting and AB De Villiers always stepped up their game at the ICC World Cups by scoring match-winning tons for their nations. Likewise, world-class bowlers like Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Curtly Ambrose, Brett Lee, Muttiah Muralitharan and Allan Donald bowled some sensational match-winning spells to turn around games in favour of their nations. A hundred or a five-wicket haul in a World Cup definitely ranks as one of the most satisfying achievements in a cricketer’s life.

With every edition of the World Cup, the best batsman of their generation have tried to top the run-scoring charts to win the race for being awarded the best batsman of the showpiece event. It is a matter of great honour that India’s Sachin Tendulkar leads the all-time run-scoring list at the World Cups. Besides Sachin, there have been a couple of other batting heavyweights who scored heavily for India in the previous editions of the World Cups.

Indian cricket has been blessed with some world-class players like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni who have produced match-winning performances to help India win the ICC World Cup in 1983 and 2011.

So it would be interesting to compile a list of the top ten run scorers for India at the World Cups. Before we run through the list, honourable mentions to those Indian cricketers who have scored more than 400 runs.

Indian cricketers with 400 or more runs in World Cups

Kris Srikkanth 521

MS Dhoni 507

Navjot Sidhu 454

Shikhar Dhawan 412

#10 Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja was one of the handy contributors with the willow at World Cups for India. Jadeja who was known for his calm and cool composure was the ideal batsman to have in the middle order while chasing herculean totals or finishing off close games.

‘Jaddu’ scored some valuable knocks in the 1996 World Cup. He is best remembered for his quickfire 45-run cameo that helped India beat Pakistan in the ICC 1996 World Cup quarterfinals. Jadeja had a good run with the bat in the 1999 World Cup scoring a ton against Australia followed by a fluent 76 against New Zealand in his last World Cup knock.

#9 Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar spearheaded India’s batting efforts in the 1975 and 1979 World Cups. Gavaskar held the fort at the top with his stoic defence and sound technique. After a disastrous campaign with the bat in the 1983 World Cup, Gavaskar made a resounding comeback in the 1987 World Cup leading the run-scoring charts for India. The 'Little Master' scored breezy half-centuries against Australia and Zimbabwe before scoring a quick-fire ton against New Zealand at Nagpur.

World Cup Record

Matches 19 Runs 561 Avg 35.06 100s 1 50s 4

#8 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, the run-scoring machine, has been an integral part of India’s last two World Cup campaigns. In 2011, a young Kohli played second fiddle to established stalwarts like Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj and Dhoni but scored some useful knocks to make a mark of his own. Kohli scored his maiden world cup ton against Bangladesh and rounded off with a gritty 35-run knock against Sri Lanka in the finals which laid the foundation of India’s successful run chase.

In the 2015 World Cup, Kohli scored a stellar ton against Pakistan to help India maintain its unbeaten record against the arch-rivals at the showpiece event. He chipped in with valuable knocks all through India's run to the semifinals against Australia. Kohli shall once again be key to India’s batting fortunes in the 2019 World Cup at England.

World Cup Record

Matches 17 Runs 587 Avg 41.92 100s 2 50s 1

#7 Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev

India’s greatest all-rounder played some of his best cricket at the World Cups. Dev, the inspirational captain led India to their maiden World Cup title in 1983 courtesy his stellar all-round showing with both bat and ball. Kapil’s 175-run epic knock against Zimbabwe, the first ever World Cup ton by an Indian cricketer is considered as an all-time classic. The hard-hitting all-rounder played many match winning cameos in 1983, 1987 and 1992 World Cups to win for India.

World Cup Record

Matches 26 Runs 669 Avg 37.16 100s 1 50s 1

#6 Yuvraj Singh

Australia v India
Australia v India

Yuvraj Singh has been one of India’s biggest match winners with the bat in World Cups. The talismanic lefthander has been a heavy run scorer for India in the three World Cups he has played. Yuvraj proved to be India’s biggest match-winner in the 2011 World Cup where he scored 362 runs with one century and four half-centuries. Yuvraj produced some whirlwind knocks to win four man of the match awards and bagged the player of the tournament.

‘Yuvi’ dint have a bad outing in India’s disappointing 2007 World Cup campaign as the elegant southpaw scored a breezy 47 against Bangladesh and followed it up with 83 off just 43 balls against Bermuda.

World Cup Record

Matches 23 Runs 738 Avg 52.71 100s 1 50s 7

#5 Mohammad Azharuddin

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin

Mohammad Azhar was one of India's consistent run-getters at the World Cup. The wristy strokemaker was the lynch pin of the Indian middle order in the 1992,1996 and 1999 World Cups. Azhar had a stellar showing with the willow in the 1992 World Cup amassing over 300 runs. He scored an impressive 93 against a quality Australian pace attack and followed it up with three half-centuries against West Indies, and South Africa. Azhar's most memorable knock came in the 1999 World Cup where he scored a fighting 59-run knock against Pakistan at Manchester to help India beat their arch-rivals in the Super Six stage.

World Cup Record

Matches 30 Runs 826 Avg 39.33 100s 0 50s 8

#4 Virender Sehwag

India v Bangladesh: Group B - 2011 ICC World Cup
India v Bangladesh: Group B - 2011 ICC World Cup

India’s swashbuckling opener was at his destructive best at the World Cups, scoring runs at a breath-taking pace. In 2011, Sehwag thrived on the batting-friendly subcontinent conditions and racked up 380 runs in India’s World Cup winning campaign. The highlight of his run-scoring exploits was a monumental 175-run knock against Bangladesh.

‘Viru’ was instrumental in getting India off to explosive starts in both the 2003 and 2011 World Cup campaigns courtesy his power-packed stroke play in the power plays. Sehwag showed a glimpse of his clinical ball striking by scoring a scintillating ton against Bermuda in the 2007 ICC World Cup.

World Cup Record

Matches 23 Runs 843 Avg 38.31 100s 2 50s 3

#3 Rahul Dravid

India v Pakistan
India v Pakistan

The ever-dependable Rahul Dravid was a consistent run-getter for India at the World Cups. The technically sound batsman played the sheet anchor’s role to perfection in the 1999 World Cup and led the run-scoring charts with 461 runs. Dravid’s technical finesse and sound temperament helped him score centuries against Sri Lanka and Kenya on testing seaming wickets in England. In the 2003 ICC World Cup, Dravid was once again India’s wall in the middle order contributing significantly with the willow in India’s march to the grand finale against Australia.

World Cup Record

Matches 22 Runs 860 Avg 61.42 100s 2 50s 6

#2 Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly of India
Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly has been the second highest run-getter for India at the World Cups. Ganguly contributed significantly with the bat in India’s stellar campaign at the 2003 World Cup. Captaining the ‘Men in Blue’, 'Dada' amassed 465 runs with two tons against Kenya and one against Namibia.

The prolific lefthanded opener had a good outing with the bat at the 1999 World Cup in England scoring 379 runs. His 183-run unbeaten knock versus Sri Lanka at Taunton was perhaps his most destructive knock in ODI cricket. Sourav is the second highest century maker for India at the World Cups with four hundreds to his name.

World Cup Record

Matches 21 Runs 1006 Avg 55.88 100s 4 50s 3

#1 Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar is hailed as arguably the greatest ODI batsman in the modern era. Sachin has proved his prowess with the bat at the World Cups and boasts of an impressive record. The ‘Master Blaster’ has been the all-time leading run-getter at the World Cups so far. The prolific run scorer amassed over 2000 runs across 6 editions of the World Cup. He also holds the record for the maximum centuries at the showpiece event.

Sachin hammered a record 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup to be adjudged the leading scorer of the tournament. In the 1996 World Cup co-hosted by India, Sachin was in a rich vein of form, scoring 523 runs that helped India make it to the semi-finals against Sri Lanka. Sachin contributed handsomely with the willow by scoring 482 runs in India’s successful 2011 World Cup winning campaign.

World Cup Record

Matches 45 Runs 2278 Avg 56.95 100s 6 50s 15

Edited by Aadya Sharma

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