Australia became the ICC Cricket World Cup champions for the fifth time after they beat New Zealand at Melbourne Cricket Ground on 29th March. In spite of having a miserable time prior to the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup, defending champions India were still favourites.
Here is a look at the Indian team’s performance in the World Cup.
Group Stages of ICC Cricket World Cup: India finish top of Pool B with 7 wins
India were in Pool B along with South Africa, Pakistan , Zimbabwe, Ireland, West Indies and United Arab Emirates. The defending champions kick started their campaign with a crucial match against neighbours Pakistan which in most cases is more than just a cricket match. India held an unbeaten record against Pakistan, registering a win every time the two teams met in a World Cup. The record continued as India won their opener by 76 runs after they successfully defended their total of 300.
Next, India took on South Africa in their 2nd group stage match. Once again, India batted first putting up a high target of 307 for the Proteas to chase. A magnificent 137 by Dhawan and 79 from Rahane helped the feat. It was then a brilliant performance from the bowling unit to finish the South African innings for just 177. The 130 run win saw the Asian giants peaking at the right time.
With two crucial wins, India were to play UAE in the 21st match of the World Cup at Perth. It was India’s bowling attack that delivered once again against a fairly weaker UAE side. R Ashwin took 4 wickets that dismantled the UAE side for a frugal 102 which did not prove to be of any threat to India. Batting second, India won by 9 wickets with 30 overseas to spare.
India faced West Indies in their 4th group stage game. Mohammed Shami bagged 3 wickets as India restricted West Indies to 182. Going by their previous batting performances, this total would be fairly simple to chase. However, India lost Dhawan and Sharma early on and the West Indies bowling posed a problem. India chased down the total losing 6 wickets and with 12 overs to spare. MS Dhoni’s men, now had bowled out the opposition in all four matches played.
Assured of a quarter final berth, the Indians took on Ireland and Zimbabwe. The two games were again won by India having a 100% win record in the group stages and bowling out all six teams with brilliant bowling performances. 60 wickets in 6 games.
Quarter-Finals: India ease past Bangladesh
Bangladesh had shocked much of the world as they had knocked out England in the group stage. However, HlHeath Streak’s men now faced a formidable opposition in India. A controversial match saw Rohit Sharma score his first century in World Cup cricket. In spite of that, the Indian bowling delivered to bowl out the oppostion for 192. The Indian bowling at this juncture had picked up 70 wickets in 7 matches.
Semi-Finals: India fall to Australia
In the Semi-Finals, India took on the hosts at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia batted first looking to post a competitive total on the board and they succeeded, putting up 328 on the board. Steven Smith’s 105 looked devastating on the day. It was an uphill task for India to chase the total but they managed to get away with a steady start provided by Sharma and Dhawan. As the innings progressed, Australia managed to keep the visitors rather silent with some good bowling in the middle overs. It was not long until India lost quick wickets and found them in a do or die situation with Rahane and skipper Dhoni in the middle. Faulkner was brought into the attack to kill the game and he delivered taking 3 wickets towards the death. Australia won the match by 95 runs and then went on to beat New Zealand in the finals to clinch the world title.