#1. CRICKET WORLD CUP
The big tournament of Cricket began way back in 1975 with slightly different rules than what we see now. For instance, there were 60 overs per side, and there were just 8 countries playing it including East Africa! The Windies dominated the first few cups and the mighty Australians dominated thereafter. But India wasn’t bad in making a decent mark with 2 Cups in its belt. Cut to the year 2019. The whole scenario is changed, and India entered the tournament being one of the top contenders and favourites of for winning the cup. With top-ranked batsmen and bowlers of the world adorning the Indian side, the chances of India lifting the cup looks quite promising.
#2. THE 2019 CRICKET WORLD CUP
India’s World Cup campaign was a dream run, and the road to Semi-Finals was the same as the one they had in 2011 with one match point shared and one match lost. Despite a few hiccups on the way with rain washing away many matches, the World Cup still turned out to be a thrilling one with many thrilling and nail-biting matches, and India had a fair share of it. Let’s take a look at some of the best matches of India this World Cup
#3. INDIA VS SOUTH AFRICA
After a week’s worth of wait, Indian fans finally got the opportunity to watch the men in blue play. While it was the first match for Indians, the South Africans had already played and lost a couple of matches, little did they knew that their losing streak would continue. Indian bowlers restricted the Proteas cheaply for just 227/9. Chahal took four wickets in his spell, while Bumrah & Bhuvi took a couple of wickets each. India started to bat without any pressure & won this match by 6 wickets with 15 balls to spare. Rohit was the star performer of this match for his memorable knock of 122 not out.
#4. INDIA VS AUSTRALIA
This rivalry is very famous among the cricketing fans. From Shane Warne and Sachin to Sreesanth and Symonds, the rivalry continued with Australians on the cricketing field and off the field. In 2015, when India had a chance to march into the finals it was Australia who knocked India out and shattered the World Cup dream like India did Australia in 2011 & won the cup. India won the toss and ended up with a score of 352/5 thanks to the firing knock of the top order batsmen Dhawan (117), Rohit (57) |& Kohli (82). Even though Australia batted well with Smith scoring 69 along with Warner & Alex Carey giving him ample support from the other end, Indian bowlers somehow managed to scramble the Middle-order of Australia and win that match comfortably. The memorable takeaway from the match could be the sportsman spirit shown by king Kohli by defending Steve Smith against his own Indian fans and asking them to cheer for him. This gesture was much appreciated by cricketers and fans all over the world.
#5. INDIA VS PAKISTAN
It is said that the entire world waits for the World Cup just to see India play Pakistan. So whenever this happens, patriotism between the fans rises to the level of defense personnel. Pakistan has never won a single match against India in the world cup tournaments and so the win against them becomes even more important. Hence on 16th of June, on a much-awaited Sunday, the Pakistan fans sat in front of their TV screens waiting for their beloved team to give them their first win against India. Meanwhile, the Indian fans were cherishing about their winning streak against Pakistan. The Indian team was asked to bat first in that match and they scored a mammoth 336/5. Amir was the only standout bowler who was able to pick 3 wickets for Pakistan. While Virat & Rahul scored 77 & 57 respectively, the man in top form, the Hitman scored his second ton in this tournament by amassing 140 runs in just 113 balls. Fakhar Zaman, Babar & Imad scored 40+ but couldn’t convert that into a big score. So it was a huge task for Pakistan as Indian bowlers took wickets at regular intervals. Vijay Shankar, Hardik & Kuldeep took a couple of wickets. Due to the interruption of play because of the rain, India was called as the winner by D/L method (89 runs). The memes and the outrage from Pakistani fans was an added bonus.
#6. INDIA VS AFGHANISTAN
The so-called underdog team of WC2019 tournament, the Afghans gave India the biggest scare yet. The way the team has propelled in the last couple of years is commendable. Even though they were yet to win a match in the WC, they gave nightmares to many giants of the game in their close encounters, which could have gone either way. When India came against Afghanistan, the fan-favourite Indian team was restricted cheaply at just 224/8. Afghanistan came to bat with great confidence. Rahmat Shah gave a good start but he got out soon & wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Nabi stood like a rock on one end and sailed Afghanistan till 49th over. While everyone thought Afghanistan might end up giving us the first upset of the tournament, Shami bowled an excellent final over & took a hat-trick. Afghanistan was bowled out at 213, and India gave a sigh of relief.
#7. INDIA VS WEST INDIES
Indians often watch the match against West Indies in positive Intent of winning. The same was happening on the 27th of June. India batted first & scored 268/7 in their quota of 50 overs. Both Virat and Dhoni scored 50+ in that match, while others were contributing a bit on the other end. Roach was West Indies’ star bowler. He took 3 wickets in his 10 over spell giving away just 36 runs. When West Indies came to bat, Shami & Bumrah bowled an economical spell. Only three of the West Indies’ players were able to register 20+ runs. As a result of this, West Indies was bowled out for 143 runs. Shami took four wickets in that match and proved his worth yet again. On the other end, Bumrah gave an economical spell of 2/9 in his 6 over spell.
#8. INDIA VS BANGLADESH
The way Bangladesh played & gave a tough fight in this tournament, they were expected to be in the top of the table. On the 2nd of July, it was a do or die match for Bangladesh against India. India opted to bat. Openers Rohit and Rahul put a 100+ stand, Rahul got out for 77 while Rohit continued his innings and scored his 4th ton in this tournament. In spite of the middle order collapse and an excellent spell by Mushfiqur (5/59), India managed a healthy 314/9. Bangladesh openers gave a steady start yet they lost their wickets cheaply. Shakib, the star of the tournament scored 66 & Saifuddin was 51 not out till the end. Bangladesh kept their required run rate under control even though the wickets were falling. It gave them a hope in the last 5 overs that they could win the match but Bumrah’s 47th over changed the wind in India’s direction. He took a couple of wickets in that over and bowled out Bangladesh for 286.
The Group stage is done and dusted with India topping the table. Now the real challenge begins. Right from Rohit to Bumrah, the entire team is in red-hot form. So let’s not lose faith, and keep cheering. Let’s get the Cup home!