Cricket World Cup: The Glorious Past of the Indian Cricket Team

Do you know the glorious past of the Indian Cricket Team? The Indian team has been the part of World Cup since its inception in 1975. This will the twelfth edition and India will begin their campaign as one the favourite contenders.

Virat Kohli will be leading the team in this mega tournament for the very first time and look for the third world cup for India. When Kapil’s team won it, the cricket circuit was in denial. Nobody could believe that India won against Clive Lloyd’s West Indies as a deserving team.

But India, as a cricket team improved with time. They proved that their maiden trophy wasn’t any fluke. It is true that India had to wait for 28 long years for its next Cup but every World Cup gave some significant moments to Indian cricket.

In 2003 Sourav Ganguly’s team finally made fans believe that even they could win. In 2011 MS Dhoni materialized on the same and finally won the second World Cup for India. The best part is since 1999-2000, except for some mishaps India cricket only grew for better. They finally nailed it in 2011. Once again this year, Kohli’s team will be a strong contender and expected to create some wonderful moments in England.

Prudential World Cup 1975:

  • India’s first World Cup match was against England at Lord’s in England.
  • Sunil Gavaskar, while chasing 335 scored 36 off 174 balls in 60 overs and faced huge criticism
  • India’s next match was against East Africa. East Africa was combined of players from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Northern Rhodesia.
  • This was the only match India could in that tournament. In fact, it was their first ODI win.

Prudential World Cup 1979:

  • Yet another disappointing tournament for India as they lost all three matches they played including the one against Sri Lanka, which was non-test playing nation then.
  • They were out of the group stage after giving a close fight in all of the matches.

Prudential World Cup 1983:

  • Kapil Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells set the momentum for India.
  • India played six group stage matches and won four of them. The two matches in the losing cause were against West Indies and Australia.
  • In the semi-final, India faced the host, England. At Old Trafford, they chased down 217 to win the match by six wickets.
  • Surprisingly India were in the finale against the defending champions West Indies at the Lord’s. India were all out for just 183 runs and their fate was clearly written on the wall.
  • But what happened next was miraculous! Entire bowling department showed their determination and skill as West Indies were sent back for just 140 runs in 52 overs.
  • Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath scalped three wickets each with Balwinder Sindhu taking two.
  • Kapil took a brilliant running catch to dismiss Richards which inspired an entire nation.
  • Expectedly for tremendous showcase, Amarnath was awarded the Man of the Match prize.
  • India sealed their maiden World Cup win. Few termed it as luck but the fact was the underdogs performed well to deserve the trophy.
  • West Indies’ loss was a shocker for cricket world.

Reliance World Cup 1987:

  • This was the first time that the trophy was taken outside England.
  • India and Pakistan co-hosted the tournament.
  • This World Cup found a new sponsor in Reliance and the tournament kind of changed the Indian cricket scenario.
  • India, along with the neighbours were the favourites mainly due to the preferred home condition.
  • They won five matches out of the seven played by them
  • Unfortunately, they had to end their journey in semi-final as England posted 254/6 and India were bowled out for 219.
  • Only Azharuddin could score a decent 64 whereas England had Graham Gooch (115) and Mike Gatting (56) leading from the front.
  • Eddie Hemmings (4/52) and Neil Foster (3/47) ran through the Indian batting order.

Benson & Hedges World Cup 1992:

  • This World Cup a disaster for Mohammad Azharuddin’s India.
  • They could manage to win only two of eight matches and were out from the initial stage.
  • This World Cup welcomed Sachin Tendulkar in Cricket’s biggest event.
  • Out of those two wins, one came against the arch-rival Pakistan in the first even India-Pakistan battle in a World Cup match.

Wills World Cup 1996:

  • India, again led by Azhar did better this time as they lost only to Australia and Sri Lanka in the group matches, the eventual finalists.
  • They managed to beat Pakistan in the quarter-final in a heated exchange but lost to the Lankans in the semis.
  • Sachin Tendulkar was India’s highlight for this World Cup. He ended as the leading scorer with 523 runs at an average of 87.16 His 137 against Sri Lanka was the 4th highest score in the tournament. He along with the skipper added 145 to register the 4th highest partnership in the tournament.

ICC World Cup 1999:

  • India were not expected to do well in this edition. Yet they showed promise after starting off slow.
  • They made into the super-six stage after winning three matches out of the five they played.
  • Sachin Tendulkar scored a magnificent 140* and dedicated the same to his father who had expired earlier in the tournament. Rahul Dravid contributed with an unbeaten century as well and Kenya lost the match 94 runs.
  • Indian cricket saw one of the glorious moments of its ODI history unfolding in the tournament. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid created historical milestones. Ganguly scored his career-best 183 while Dravid reintroduced himself with a fine 145. Their partnership of 318 is still the fourth highest ODI partnership for any wicket.
  • A close loss against Zimbabwe in the Super-six stage finally ensured India did not qualify for the knock out stage

ICC World Cup 2003:

  • This was a dream run and fans still cherish about the special moments handed by Men in Blue.
  • Led by Sourav Ganguly this team of young guns and senior players won nine matches out of the 11 played by them.
  • Only two matches they lost to the mighty Australians. Unfortunately one of the losing matches was the final one.
  • Chasing 360 runs was never an easy task and India started losing wickets from the beginning. Virender Sehwag (87) and Rahul Dravid (47) tried to put up a fight though. Their journey ended in the 40th over with 234 runs on board.
  • Sachin Tendulkar won the Player-of-the-Series award as the leading scorer- 673 runs in 11 matches.
  • Sachin’s 98 against Pakistan, Ganguly’s hundred in the semi-final against Kenya, Nehra’s spell of 6.23 against England were some of the magical moments that helped the billions of Indian fans to chase the dream for few more years.

ICC World Cup 2007:

  • Led by Rahul Dravid, this team began their journey with a lot of expectation. But they lost against Bangladesh in their opening match which surprised everyone.
  • Dravid’s army had to win the remaining two matches to keep their run alive.
  • Although they won against minnows Bermuda by a huge margin of 257 runs, Team India lost against Sri Lanka.
  • This ended their 2007 WC journey and attracted even attacks to some of the players’ houses. Post this Anil Kumble retired from the ODI format.

ICC World Cup 2011:

  • India, under MS Dhoni, helped the fans to dream again after the 2007 debacle.
  • They moved on from the crisis and entered the 2011 World Cup as one of the favourites.
  • This time it was again hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  • They beat Bangladesh, tied with England, beat Ireland and Netherlands, lost to South Africa and beat West Indies and entered the knockouts.
  • Once they beat the mighty Aussies to reach semi-final, all started banking on them. Next, they beat Pakistan to enter the final.
  • The grand final between two neighbours India and Sri Lanka saw Gautam Gambhir scoring a calculated 97 and later Dhoni finishing the match in style with a six after putting a brilliant 91* on board.
  • Yuvraj Singh was the real price for India. He was the Man-of-the-Tournament. He scored 362 runs and took 15 wickets. This was a special showcase as he was fighting with cancer during the tournament.

ICC World Cup 2015:

  • Although Dhoni brigade won seven matches in a row to make it to the knockouts, they lost against Australia and the journey ended in the quarter-final.
  • The bowlers were in great form as they took all 70 wickets of the opponents in their first 7 matches.
  • With another win, India maintained a 6-0 scoreline against Pakistan

ICC World Cup 2019:

  • India gets into the semi-finals after much anticipation.
  • India loses to New Zealand in the semi-finals by 18 runs.


Shreyasi Talukdar