Indian batsmen have conjured up some of the finest knocks in World Cup history. Ahead of another edition of the tournament, Onmanorama takes a look at the top five knocks played by Indian batsmen in the competition.
Kapil Dev (175 not out vs Zimbabwe – 1983 World Cup)
If ever there was a captain's knock, this was it. Kapil Dev walked in to bat with India reeling at 17/5 in their group match against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells in the 1983 World Cup. Kapil smashed an unbeaten 175 off 138 balls with the help of 16 fours and six sixes as he single-handedly took the total to 266/8 in 60 overs. This was also the first hundred in One-Day Internationals by an Indian. India went on to win the match by 31 runs, which was crucial in them making it to the semifinals.
Sachin Tendulkar (98 vs Pakistan – 2003 World Cup)
Sachin Tendulkar conjured up an innings for the ages (98 off 75 balls) as he pulverised the Pakistan attack consisting of pace trio Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. Chasing a target of 274, the Master Blaster sent the Pakistan bowlers on a leather hunt in a group match of the 2003 World Cup at Centurion. Tendulkar upper cutting Akhtar for a six will forever remain etched in the minds of all those who watched the game. Tendulkar eventually fell to a bouncer by Akhtar, but by then he had put India on track for a memorable win. India won the match by six wickets to continue their domination over their arch-rivals in the tournament.
M S Dhoni (91 not out vs Sri Lanka – 2011 World Cup)
The Indian skipper had a quiet tournament by his lofty standards going into the final. But on the big night, M S Dhoni promoted himself ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh to negate the threat of Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan. Dhoni was slow to start off and rebuild the innings along with opener Gautam Gambhir at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Dhoni thwarted Murali and his unbeaten 91 off 79 balls made sure India did not wobble in their chase of 275. He finished off the match in style by hoisting Nuwan Kulasekara for a six to end India's 28-year wait for a second World Cup crown.
Shikhar Dhawan (137 vs South Africa – 2015 World Cup)
A packed MCG and a formidable opposition attack comprising Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Wayne Parnell brought the best out of Shikhar Dhawan. The Proteas lost medium-pacer Vernon Philander early in the match to an injury, but Dhawan was simply irresistible on the day. The southpaw's silken 137 off 146 balls was laced with 16 fours and two sixes. Dhawan's ton powered India to a mammoth 307/7 in the group match. This was backed up by the Indian bowlers and fielders as the Men in Blue thrashed the Proteas by 130 runs to notch up their first win over South Africa in a World Cup game.
Sourav Ganguly (183 vs Sri Lanka – 1999 World Cup)
India began their campaign in the 1999 World Cup on a disastrous note as they lost to South Africa and Zimbabwe. The team led by Mohammad Azharuddin needed to win their remaining three group games to advance to the Super Six. India scored a comfortable win over Kenya and took on defending champions Sri Lanka at Taunton. Put in to bat, India lost opener Sadagopan Ramesh (5) cheaply. However, Sourav Ganguly (183) and Rahul Dravid (145) produced batsmanship of the highest order as the two added 318 runs for the second wicket. The left-handed Ganguly's 158-ball knock contained 17 fours and seven magnificent sixes. It remains the highest individual score by an Indian in World Cup history. India amassed 373/6 and bowled out the Lankans for 216 to complete a thumping 157-run win.