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Six 30+plus runs were crucial to India’s World Cup victories.

by Navyatha Sandiri
World Cup victories

India is one of the select few nation’s World Cup victories, that have triumphed in all three of the major ICC Tournaments. India also holds the distinction of having won three different World Cups: a 60-over World Cup, a 20-over World Cup, and a 50-over World Cup. India also won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 and 2013, as well as the Kerry Packer World Championship Series in Australia in 1985 (jointly with Sri Lanka). When India participated in the World Cup finals against Australia in 2003 and the T20 Cup finals against Sri Lanka in 2014, they missed the chance to add a few ICC World Cup trophies to their trophy cabinet.

It was accomplished by a number of well-known performances for India, but there were a few crucial contributions along the way that ultimately made the difference. Let’s take a look at six examples of these efforts that helped India win the World Cup.

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6. Suresh Raina, scored 34 against Australia in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal.

India faced off against the reigning champions, Australia. In Ahmedabad, Ricky Ponting chose to bat after winning the crucial toss. Ricky Ponting took the lead early with a valiant 104 while Brad Haddin scored 53. Australia’s 260, a very respectable score considering the circumstances, was made possible by David Hussey’s 38-run cameo.

India got off to a strong start, as the bowlers from Australia were kept at bay by Sachin Tendulkar’s 53 and Gautam Gambhir’s 50. When the pair were dismissed, Yuvraj Singh assumed control and quickly resumed his scoring. When MS Dhoni was out against the grain, India was in trouble at 187 for 5 in the 37th over and still required 74 runs from 74 balls.

Together with Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina helped Australia lose momentum by playing some intelligent batting. When necessary, they occasionally hit the boundary while continuously rotating the stroke. Raina hit five fours and a six in her 34-point performance from 28 balls. The defending champions were eliminated from the World Cup after India won the match thanks to this pairing.

5. In the 2011 World Cup semifinal against Pakistan, Virender Sehwag, 38, scored.

The 2011 World Cup saw Virender Sehwag at the top of his game. During the league phases, he would proceed to slam the opening pitch for a boundary with contempt. When India and Pakistan squared up in the semifinals, MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat. One of the best wicket-takers, Umar Gul, has even spoken of troublesome the Indian trio of Sehwag, Tendulkar, and Gambhir.

After opening the proceedings against Gul with a thunderous cover shot, Sehwag scored five boundaries in one over. He knocked a few goals off Abdul Razzak and damaged Pakistan’s self-esteem. Sehwag welcomed Gul back into the attack by adding another 9 runs to his over. Wahab Riaz dismissed Sehwag for 38 off 25 balls with 8 boundaries. Sehwag dealt Pakistan a crushing blow, allowing India to gain the upper hand early on and go on to triumph famously.

4. Suresh Raina, 36, faced Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semifinal.

India had a great start thanks to Virender Sehwag, and when he was removed, India’s momentum was gone. Four missed opportunities to catch the ball and a few near misses gave Sachin Tendulkar a lucky break, forcing him to play percentage cricket. The two-sided nature of the Mohali pitch made it tough for MS Dhoni to get going, and Yuvraj Singh, the anchor of India’s middle order, went out off the first ball he faced.

After Sachin was fired, Raina joined Dhoni, but they had a long way to go. India lost Dhoni, and after 42 overs, the score was 205 for 6. Raina bravely batted with the tail, scoring 36 runs off of 38 balls while rotating the strike nicely and occasionally smacking a boundary. With the help of his brief but crucial partnerships with Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan, India’s total was increased to 260. The bowlers now had a bowling ball to use. The situation became more challenging due to Pakistan’s mediocre middle-overs batting strategy, and they ultimately exited the World Cup with a score of 231.

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3. Rohit Sharma faced Pakistan in the 2007 T20 World Cup Final at age 30.

In 2007, the first T20 World Cup final pitted India against Pakistan, and the stakes were very high. MS Dhoni had no qualms about batting first, a tactic that had been successful for India. India got off to a fast start thanks to Yusuf Pathan and Gautam Gambhir before the latter was removed. Robin Uthappa soon followed, and Yuvraj Singh struggled to get going. Gambhir made a strong comeback and amassed an outstanding 50-run total.

2. 38-year-old Kris Srikanth faced the West Indies in the 1983 World Cup Final.

India faced a West Indies team that was famed for intimidating opponents and was all-conquering. Sunil Gavaskar, the talisman of India’s opening lineup, was lost when Kapil Dev won the toss and decided to bat. With a 57-run stand, Mohinder Amarnath and Srikanth revived the situation.

Srikanth was really stern when it came to losing to the dreadful West Indian quicks. He employed some ferocious square cuts and strong hook strikes. One of the best shots in the World Cup was the hook shot he used against Joel Garner. He eventually got out for a well-made 38 from 57 balls with seven fours and one six. India could only muster up 183.

1. Virat Kohli, 35, versus Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup Final.

In the 2011 World Cup final, India faced Sri Lanka as the clear favorite. Having won the toss, Kumar Sangakkara decided to bat. Sri Lanka had a sluggish start to their innings but later found their stride. Sri Lanka reached a game-winning 275 thanks to Mahela Jayawardene’s elegant century.

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