The 1987 World Cup in India and Pakistan

The 1987 World Cup in India and Pakistan

The 1987 World Cup marked the beginning of Australia’s dominance in the world of cricket.

The edition saw the tournament being held away from England for the first time. Also, the shorter daylight hours in the subcontinent resulted in the games being curtailed to 50 overs per innings from 60. The edition also saw the incoming of neutral umpires.

It was for the first time that the West Indies failed to reach the semifinals of the tournament and India and Australia emerged superior in their group, while Pakistan and
England prevailed in their group.

Both India and Pakistan faced losses in the semifinals in front of their respective home grounds as the dream of winning the World Cup at home eluded India. While Pakistan failed to chase down Australia’s 267 and lost by 18 runs, India too fell short by 35 runs to beat England in the semis.

Australia and England fought one of the toughest battles in a World Cup final. A 75-run partnership between openers David Boon and Geoff Marsh helped Australia post a competitive 253 runs. England batsmen too seemed to be going great until skipper Mike Gatting lost his wicket. The entire England batting order thereafter came down tumbling as Australia lifted their first World Cup trophy.

India at 1987 World Cup

Entering the ODI war as the reigning champions, the magic of Kapil failed to inspire the team that was said to be suffering from massive egos and young feet. The fact that the tournament was hosted in India got them the home-conditions advantage and they used it well to reach to the semi finals.

However, things did not unfold as the millions would have liked them to as a gritty England won by 35 runs in the semis. The problem with the loss was one that by now had become typical of the traditionally strong Indian batting – the top batsmen fell cheaply and only one could remain with a decent knock with no support from the other end at all.

Of the three batsmen who had the weight of the run scoring on their shoulders, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sunil Gavaskar fizzled out while Mohd Azharuddin was the one who scored a fighting fifty that could not do much for their victory prospects.

-India ended the tournament with five wins and two crucial losses while Australia were crowned new world champions with an impressive 7-1 figure to take back home.

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