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India at the Cricket World Cup

The Indian cricket team has won the 1983 Cricket World Cup, and was runner-up at the 2003 Cricket World Cup. They were semifinalists in the 1996 Cricket World Cup and in the 1987 Cricket World Cup.

India at the 1975 World Cup

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 were to play each of these teams once. To advance to the semi-finals they had to come in the Top 2 of their pool. However, the running was tough and India opened their campaign with a particularly infamous loss.

India lost their first match to hosts England by 202 runs after England had 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 through 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 came under much controversy. 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 at the 1979 World Cup

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 a 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 at the 1983 World Cup

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 comprised:

India's record: 6−2 (champions)

India at the 1987 World Cup

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 of 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 third 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 at the 1992 World Cup

Held in Australia and New Zealand, the 1992 Cricket World Cup had a number of special additions. Not in the least was the inclusion of cricket heavyweight South Africa. It was also the first world cup to include coloured clothing. Another major addition was the fact that the cup was not divided into pools, and each nations would play each other nation. There were 9 nations competing in all. India had a considerably strong team, still bolstered Kapil Dev and Mohammed Azharuddin. It also had rising star Sachin Tendulkar, who would later become the leading run-scorer in career world cups.

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, 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 generally player performances were at best, lacklustre, Mohammed Azharuddin was the leading batsman, scoring 332 runs in 7 matches without a century included. Sachin Tendulkar scored 283 runs in 7 innings in a world cup 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 at the 1996 World Cup

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 opened their campaign against Kenya at Cuttack. India won the toss and elected to bowl first. They restricted the Kenyans to 6-199, with spinners Anil Kumble and Venkatapathy Raju taking two and three wickets respectively. The target was easily achieved with 55 balls and seven wickets to spare, primarily due to Sachin Tendulkar (127 from 138 balls, 15 fours, 1 six)* who scored an unbeaten century in an opening partnership of 163 runs with Ajay Jadeja (53 from 85 balls, 4 fours, 1 six).

India continued their campaign in Gwalior against the West Indies, who won the toss and elected to bat first. The West Indies did reach 2/91 but after a mid innings collapse were dismissed for 173 off the final ball of the 50 overs. Kumble and Manoj Prabhakar claimed three wickets each, while Javagal Srinath only conceded 22 runs for his two wickets. India started poorly, slumping to 2/2 after both Navjot Singh Sidhu and Jadeja were removed by Ambrose, but steadied on the back of Sachin Tendulkar (70 from 91 balls, 8 fours), whose half-century led India to a win by five wickets and more than ten overs to spare.

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 he 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 (137 from 137 balls, 8 fours, 5 sixes) scored another century and captain Mohammed Azharuddin got 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 higlighted 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.

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

India at the 1999 World Cup

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 (140 from 101 balls, 16 fours, 3 sixes) who rejoined the team and Rahul Dravid (104 from 109 balls, 10 fours), both 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

Like in the previous World Cup, India were beginning their 2003 Cricket World Cup Campaign on a string of poor performances. The World Cup consisted of a similar format to the previous world cup. 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, now accompanied by rising talents Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif and Virender Sehwag. India were placed in Group A, accompanied by Holland, Australia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, England and rivals Pakistan. The Top 3 in the pool would advance to the Super Six section of the tournament.

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 Sachin Tendulkar (52 from 72 balls, 7 fours) putting up resistance, although Javagal Srinath and Anil 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 world champions Australia. The Indian team, batting first, was steadily making progress at 1/41 when disaster struck, Virender Sehwag's wicket triggered a middle order collapse that left India struggling at 5/50 having lost 4 wickets for 9 runs. Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh 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. Sachin Tendulkar (81 from 91 balls, 10 fours) took India to 255 (7 wickets, 50 overs) and 3 wickets from Sourav 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. Sachin Tendulkar (152 from 151 balls, 18 fours) scored a century and Sourav Ganguly (112 from 119 balls, 6 fours, 4 sixes)* another century in 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 Singh. The man of the match was Sachin Tendulkar in both matches.

India finished off the Pool Stage with an 82 run victory over England and a 6 wicket victory over Pakistan. 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 50s from Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh. The match against Pakistan was considered one in which Sachin Tendulkar offered his best. Chasing 274, Tendulkar (98 from 75 balls, 12 fours, 1 six) pulled off a near century to guide India to an unlikely victory. Tendulkar was once again awarded Man of the Match.

India were untroubled in the Super Six stage and continued their streak of strong performances with three wins out of three matches. The wins were comfortable, beating Kenya by 6 wickets through a century from Sourav Ganguly (107 from 120 balls, 11 fours, 2 sixes); beating Sri Lanka by 183 runs thanks to 97 from 120 balls from Sachin Tendulkar, 66 from 76 balls, from Virender Sehwag and 4/35 from Javagal Srinath. 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 last win was against New Zealand; after Zaheer Khan helped get the New Zealanders out for 146, Mohammed Kaif brought India home to a comfortable 7 wicket victory.

This brought India into the semi-finals against overperforming minnows Kenya. The match was not dramatic. Sachin Tendulkar (83 from 101 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and Sourav Ganguly (111 from 114 balls, 5 fours, 5 sixes) took India to 4/270. From where a combined bowling effort from 7 bowlers got Kenya all out for 179. This brought India into the all-important World Cup grand final with Australia, but Australia dominated from the very start, achieving 105 runs in 14 overs before losing a single wicket. Ricky Ponting (140 from 121 balls), and Damien Martyn (88 from 84 balls) took Australia to an Australian record 359 (2 wickets, 50 overs), a record that would not be beaten until 2006, while scoring at the rate of 7.18 runs per over. India never stood a chance after Sachin Tendulkar lost his wicket for just 4. Virender Sehwag (82 from 81 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes) and Rahul Dravid (47 from 57 balls, 2 fours) shared a partnership of 88 runs in 13.2 overs, bringing India to 3/147. With India scoring at 5.96 runs an over, the batsmen were scoring fluently, but India's wickets were falling too quickly. India lost their last 7 wickets for only 87 runs to score 234 (all out, 39.2 overs).

There were a huge amount of bright sides in this tournament for India. Firstly, Man of the Tournament Sachin Tendulkar had outperformed every other cricketer in the world cup and had reclaimed his status as one of the best batsmen in the history of world cricket. Tendulkar was leading run scorer with 673 runs, followed by fellow Indian Sourav Ganguly who was 208 runs behind in second. Tendulkar's 152 against Namibia was the second highest score of the tournament and he achieved an average of 61.18. There were upsides in the bowling department as well with Zaheer Khan 4th on the wicket takers list. Finally, India as a team had achieved a streak beaten only by Australia; they lost only two matches in the entire World Cup, both of those being to champions Australia.

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

India at the 2007 World Cup

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, Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid), world class spin bowling in the form of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble and a decent pace bowling attack. They were pitted against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and World Cup debutants Bermuda in Group B.

India's World Cup campaign started disastrously, as they lost to Bangladesh in the opener, leaving them with two must-win matches in their group. All Indian batsmen, barring Yuvraj Singh (47) and Sourav Ganguly (69), faltered against the pace of Mashrafe Mortaza and the left arm spin of Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafique.

India next scored 413 against Bermuda, the highest score by India in one-day cricket and the highest team total in a World Cup game. Virender Sehwag, who was selected in the team only at captain Rahul Dravid's insistence, rediscovered his form with 114. Yuvraj and Sachin Tendulkar destroyed the amateur Bermudan bowling, with innings of 83 and 57 respectively. India won the game by 257 runs (as of March 2007, the largest margin of defeat in one-day cricket), and this left them to beat tournament favorites Sri Lanka. Due to their loss to Bangladesh, India's presence in the tournament depended on them defeating Sri Lanka.

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

The Indians batting crumbled against the Sri Lankan bowling attack, with only Dravid and Sehwag showing some resistance. Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni fell for ducks, and Yuvraj was run out for 6. Muttiah Muralitharan took 3 wickets, winning him the Man of the Match award. India were all out for only 185, considered surprising given India's batting strength and the batting-friendly nature of the Queen's Park Oval. With one victory and two losses, India were hence knocked out of the World Cup. Bangladesh's win over Bermuda cemented India's exit. It was also the first time since 1992 that the Indian cricket team failed to progress to the latter stages of the tournament.

After the debacle, embattled coach Greg Chappell resigned after reports that the senior players were not happy with him. However Dravid retained his 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:

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