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India’s Unforgettable Highs and Lows in World Cup Cricket

India’s victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup is still seen as one of the greatest upsets in the history of sport.

At the time, India were considered to be a lost cause in one-day international cricket; in two previous World Cups, they had won just one match.

On 25 June 1983, India achieved what had seemed impossible by beating the star-studded West Indies.

Batting first, India were bowled out for 183. When Viv Richards led his team to 50-1 in reply, it looked like being another chance for the Caribbean camp to celebrate, but then all was about to change for India.

Richards mistimed a hook over mid-wicket and sent the ball soaring into the sky. India captain Kapil Dev darted back from mid-on, trained his eye on the ball and clasped it in his palms. The floodgates opened, the mighty Windies collapsed for 140, India rejoiced and the country’s love affair with one-day cricket was born.

India’s “lowest point” in World Cups came in 2007 in the West Indies, when a side led by Rahul Dravid lost to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the group stages to crash out.

Underdogs Bangladesh caused the biggest upset by beating India by five wickets in a low-scoring game in Port of Spain.

Commentators called India’s performance “shambolic” and blamed the team’s “toothless bowling attack” and “sloppy fielding” for the loss.

Following the defeat, enraged Indian fans attacked wicketkeeper MS Dhoni’s house, which was under construction. There were protests against the team in some cities, and effigies of the players were burnt in the eastern city of Kolkata.

Source : BBC