1983 to 2015: Five Iconic India-Australia Clashes at the World Cup

In the World Cup, Australia have a clear edge against India, having won eight times out of eleven.

World Cup
5 min read
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India and Australia have developed a fierce rivalry over the years. Be it Tests, ODIs or T20s, fans have enjoyed the duel between the two sides.

As far as the World Cup is concerned, the rivalry has only intensified over the years. The two sides have met eleven times previously in the World Cup, which includes one final and a semi-final. And Australia have a clear edge, having had won eight times out of eleven.

Despite this dubious record, there is one silver lining for the Indian lot.

Out of the eleven times India have faced Australia in the World Cup, in the two instances when India defeated them, they went on to win the World Cup. The first being in 1983, followed by the triumph in 2011.

But before the sides cross swords for the twelfth time at cricket’s grandest event on Sunday, here’s a look at the five iconic matches from the World Cup over the years, which has defined the rivalry between the two cricketing powerhouses.


1983 World Cup: India Won by 118 Runs

In the World Cup, Australia have a clear edge against India, having won eight times out of eleven.
Roger Binny (left) was awarded the Man of the Match for his four wickets and 21 runs with the bat.
(Photo: Twitter)

India and Australia never met in the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979.

For the first time in 1983, both teams were clubbed together in the same group. In every group, each team played each other twice and Australia had beaten India handsomely by 162 runs at Trent Bridge in the first of the two matches.

But India turned the table in the second meeting. Kapil Dev had won the toss and elected to bat.

All Indian batsmen got starts but failed to convert them. Yashpal Sharma top scored for India with a 40 as India were all-out for 247 in 55.5 overs. For Australia, Rodney Hogg and Jeff Thomson finished with three wickets each.

While chasing Australia were not off to a great start. They kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Roger Binny (4/29) rocked the Aussie top order while Madan Lal (4/20) took care of the middle-order. Eventually, Australia were dismissed for 129 in 38.2.

Binny was awarded the Man of the Match for his four wickets and 21 runs with the bat.

1987 World Cup: Australia Won by 1 Run

This was the opening match of the 1987 World Cup, and host India were playing Australia.

India won the toss and put Australia into bat at Chepauk. And very soon they realised that it wasn’t a wise decision. The Australian openers put up an opening stand of 110 runs. David Boon missed a fifty by a run, but Geoff Marsh went onto score a handsome 110. Australia finished with 270/6 in their 50 overs.

This was the first time 50-over matches were being played at the World Cup.

In response, India were off to a decent start. Gavaskar scored a 32-ball 37 before getting dismissed. India needed only 70 runs off the last 15 overs with eight wickets in hand. Srikkanth and Sidhu scored 70 and 73 respectively but after they were out, it was all downhill for India.

In the end, India needed 2 runs off 2 balls with one wicket in hand but Steve Waugh clean bowled Maninder Singh off the penultimate delivery of the match to register a one-run win for Australia.

Like the previous edition in 1983, this time too, teams played each other twice in the group stage and in the return tie in New Delhi India won by 56 runs.

1992 World Cup: Australia Won by 1 Run

This time too India fell short by one run against Australia in what was a repeat of the previous World Cup encounter between the two sides. Only difference being this time, the toss was in Australia’s favour.

Batting first, Australia managed to reach 237 for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs, courtesy Dean Jones’ 90. For India, Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar were on target with the ball. Both picking up three wickets each.

Chasing 238, India kept losing wickets at one end as skipper Azharuddin played well for his well-made 93.

A rain interruption recalculated India’s target to 236 off 47 overs, which in the end was a little too much as India lost all their wickets and finished their quota of overs with only 234 runs on board.


2003 World Cup: Australia Won 125 Runs (Final)

This was the first time India and Australia were playing each other in a knock-out match at the World Cup stage. Coming into the final Australia were unbeaten in the tournament while India had lost only one match against Australia during the group stage.

India won the toss and Sourav Ganguly decided to field and India lost their grip on the match in the first over itself.

Openers Gilchrist (57) and Hayden (37) gave their side the best possible start. After their departure, it was a one-man show with Ricky Ponting taking the likes of Zaheer Khan and Co to the cleaners. He finished unbeaten on 140, along with Damien Martyn, who did more than his bit with the bat, scoring 88 not out. Australia posted a mammoth 359/2.

India could hardly change their fortune with the bat as they never got a start. McGrath sent Tendulkar back in the very first over of the innings. Barring Sehwag, none of the Indian batsman showed any resistance as the Indian innings folded for 234 in 39.2 overs.


2011 World Cup: India Won by 5 Wickets

India were playing Australia in a World Cup match after eight years. And in these eight years, the Indian side had galvanised under MS Dhoni and were favourites to lift the Cup at home.

It was the second quarter-final in Ahmedabad and captain Ricky Ponting opted to bat after winning the toss.

The Australian skipper spoiled the party for the Indians as he scored yet another century against India in a World Cup encounter. It was Ponting’s 104 that took Australia to 260 for 6 in 50 overs. Wicket-keeper Brad Haddin (53 off 62) at the top of the order and David Hussey (38 off 26) in the death overs also made some useful contributions.

For India, Sachin Tendulkar (53) and Gautam Gambhir (50) made sure India were off to a good start, after Sehwag got dismissed. But the wickets of Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni in the span off 44 runs titled the balance in Australia’s favour.

But Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina had different plans as the duo put on a 74-run stand in 61 balls to take India into the semis with 14 balls and five wickets to spare.

After picking two crucial wickets of Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke, Yuvraj played a match-winning knock of 57 to be rightfully adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’.

Other Encounters

India and Australia also played each other in the 1996, 1999 and 2015 edition of the World Cup. Apart from 1996, the other two matches were completely one-sided affair in favour of Australia.

In 1996, India met Australia in the group stage in Mumbai and lost by 16 runs. Sachin Tendulkar scored a 90 but it wasn’t enough.

Four years later, both sides again met but this time in the newly introduced Super Six stage. India failed to chase down 282 as Australia won by 77 runs despite Ajay Jadeja making a century.

The latest among the lot was the semi-final encounter between the sides four years back. Australia scored a 328/7 in their 50 overs. India in response never looked to be in the game as they were dismissed for 233 in 46.5 overs.

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