In the 2023 World Cup opener against Australia, Team India showcased a strong start with the ball, successfully bowling out the formidable Australian team for 199 on a challenging wicket at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
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This achievement echoes a historical trend where Indian spinners have consistently dominated opponents in World Cup encounters. Looking back at five instances, including the latest triumph, it underscores India’s spin prowess on the global stage.
1. India vs Namibia – 2003 World CupIn the 2003 World Cup, India faced Namibia in a group match where their batsmen set a formidable target of 312. The Indian spinners, led by Yuvraj Singh with four wickets, wreaked havoc, picking up eight wickets for just 64 runs. India secured a massive victory with an 181-run margin.
2. India vs West Indies – 2011 World Cup: During the 2011 World Cup, India faced the West Indies in a group match at Motera in Ahmedabad. Yuvraj Singh’s all-round brilliance, including a century and key wickets, guided India to a total of 268. India’s spinners, including Ashwin, played a crucial role, taking six West Indies wickets as India won by 80 runs.
3. India vs UAE – 2015 World Cup: In a memorable encounter against the United Arab Emirates in the 2015 World Cup, held at the WACA Ground in Perth, the Indian spinners defied historical pitch expectations. Ravichandran Ashwin’s four-wicket haul and Ravindra Jadeja’s contribution led to UAE’s collapse for 102. India chased down the target with ease, securing a comprehensive victory.
4. India vs Zimbabwe – 1996 World Cup: In the 1996 World Cup, India faced Zimbabwe in a group match where Vinod Kambli’s century propelled India to a total of 247. The spin duo of Anil Kumble and Venkatapathy Raju took five crucial wickets, ensuring a comfortable 40-run victory for India.
5. India vs Kenya – 1996 World Cup: India’s opening game in the 1996 World Cup against Kenya showcased Anil Kumble’s brilliance as he claimed three wickets, complemented by Venkatapathy Raju’s support. Kenya was restricted to 199, and India chased down the target with Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten century, highlighting the spinners’ pivotal role.
India’s spin dominance in these World Cup matches reflects the timeless impact of spinners, shaping victories and contributing to the country’s cricketing legacy.