Over the years, there have been some spectacular knocks by Indians in World Cup games. If there's one thing that distinguishes India in cricket, it’s their ability to consistently churn out world-beating batsmen.
From Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly and now Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, there's been no dearth of supremely elegant batsmen in the country. Each has had their share of moments in the World Cups but a few others have also stepped up.
We trace the four best knocks by Indians in ODI World Cups.
Sourav Ganguly - 183 vs Sri Lanka (1999 World Cup)
At Taunton in the 1999 World Cup game against Sri Lanka, Sourav Ganguly registered the then highest score by an Indian in ODIs. Opening the innings, Ganguly forged a stand of 318 for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid to take India to a daunting total of 373.
The opener made 183 in 158 balls, blazing seven maximums and taking a special liking to some of Sri Lanka's spin bowlers. The trademark Ganguly loft off the spinners and drive off the pacers were on full display in this spectacular knock.
Kapil Dev - 175* vs Zimbabwe (1983 World Cup)
An innings for which there is no official recording, Kapil Dev blazed the highest individual score in ODIs by an Indian when he blasted a sensational 175 not out against minnows Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup, which India went on to win.
The knock is all the more important because Kapil Dev came in at nine for four and watched the team slump to 17 for five before taking the attack to the opposition single-handedly. The next highest score in the Indian line-up was a mere 24, as they racked up 266 and won by 31 runs eventually.
Shikhar Dhawan - 137 vs South Africa (2015 World Cup)
A crucial game in the 2015 World Cup against a daunting South African side turned one-sided as Shikhar Dhawan went on the rampage against the Proteas pacers. Constantly peppering Dhawan with the short ball backfired as the Delhiite blasted the pacers with aplomb in a blistering knock that took the wind out of some of the world's best bowlers.
Dhawan took 146 balls for his 137 and led India to a total of 307. Deflated after this attack, the Proteas folded for 177 and lost by a whopping 130 runs.
Sachin Tendulkar - 98 vs Pakistan (2003 World Cup)
Despite not getting to the three-figure mark, this is probably the most iconic knock by an Indian in World Cups. The Centurion crowd stood with bated breath as Sachin Tendulkar tore into a Pakistan attack comprising Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.
The uppercut over point for six is perhaps etched into the memory of each cricket fan. Tendulkar toyed with the Pakistan bowling in a run-chase of 274. By the time he was dismissed for a 75-ball 98, India had 177 onboard in 27.4 overs and the game was theirs to lose.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / STR