India at the 1987 World Cup

India and Pakistan were the hosts 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 off 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 crickters of the 1987 World Cup...
  • Kapil Dev (captain)
  • Chandrakant Pandit
  • Chetan Sharma
  • Dilip Vengsarkar
  • Kiran More (wicketkeeper)
  • Kris Srikkanth
  • Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
  • Maninder Singh
  • Manoj Prabhakar
  • Mohammed Azharuddin
  • Navjot Singh Sidhu
  • Ravi Shastri
  • Roger Binny
  • Sunil Gavaskar

Source: Wikipedia

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