Cricket News

HOLI NOSTALGIA: When Team India Conquered The West Indies In Back-to-back World Cups

Written By Karthik Nair | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • India and West Indies were in the same group in 2011 and 2015 editions of the World Cup.
  • Coincidentally, on both occasions, they locked horns on the auspicious day of Holi.

World Cup is Cricket's biggest extravaganza where all the teams compete with each other for global supremacy. While the teams battle it out for the biggest prize in World Cricket, they also create history by being involved in some or the other memorable moments. One (actually, two) such moment is between India and West Indies and relates to the festival of colours which is being celebrated on Thursday.

When it comes to the World Cup memories between India and West Indies the very first thing that comes to our mind is Kapil Dev holding the Prudential Cup at the Lord's balcony in 1983. Kapil's Devils had ended the dominance of Clive Lloyd's mighty Caribbean side who had won two straight World Cups heading into their third consecutive World Cup Final. That win in 1983 took the gentleman's game to the next level and there was no looking back. However, apart from this win, there is another memorable moment between these two-time World Cup winning sides. These memories are from their previous two World Cup encounters in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

India and West Indies were in the same group in 2011 and 2015 editions of the World Cup. Coincidentally, they also went on to lock horns with each other on the auspicious day of Holi . Even the results went in India's favour on both the occasions as the Men in Blue got the better of West Indies. India were the favourites heading into both the matches but the matches were no less than a roller-coaster ride as things could have gone either way. Nonetheless, it was India who held on to their nerves and ended up on the winning side.

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The group stage match of the 2011 World Cup was played at the MA Chidambaram in Chennai where India batted first after winning the toss. India were off to a disastrous start as both Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar were back in the pavilion early. The momentum shifted in India's favour with a 122-run stand between Yuvraj Singh (113) and Virat Kohli (59). After these two departed, the Indian batsmen could not offer much resistance and were bowled out for 268 before the completion of their 50 overs. In reply, the West Indies were cruising towards an easy win with opener Devon Smith looking in splendid form. However, once he was castled by Zaheer Khan for 81, the West Indian batting crumbled under pressure as they lost their eight wickets for 34 runs and were bundled out for 188 which gave India an 80 run win.

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Both teams would go on to face each other yet again in the group stage match of the 2015 World Cup in Perth. West Indies batted first after winning the toss but they were simply clueless against the spirited Indian bowling unit. However, thanks to some dropped catches and 16 wides, West Indies crawled their way to 182.  What should have been an easy chase suddenly became difficult for India as they lost their top order batsmen early and even the middle order could hardly make an impact. Skipper MS Dhoni played a crucial as well as a patient knock of 45. At the same time, he also ensured that the Indian run chase did not run out of steam while he was losing partners on the other end. Ultimately, he succeeded in taking India past the finish line and India won this contest by four wickets.
 

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