With Team India faltering at the final hurdle, Pat Cummins and Co. etched their name in history books.
However, for India it turned out to be an almost perfect World Cup as the team won 10 out of 11 matches, making the country extremely proud.
For the Rohit-led side, their run in the entire tournament was nothing short of a fairytale filled with many joyous moments along with some late sorrow.
Here’s a look at the biggest moments for India at the 2023 cricketing extravaganza:
Troubled start to the tournament
Showing early signs of jitters, India’s campaign got off to a jittery start against the Aussies in Chennai as the chase of a modest 200 got off to a nightmarish start. Reeling at 2 for the loss of three wickets, India’s batting might was kind of exposed right at the beginning. But Virat Kohli and KL Rahul ensured it was a minor blip as their partnership and respective fifties steered India to a commanding win and helped them get their campaign underway with a victory.
8-0 against Pakistan
The India-Pakistan clash always boils down to who handles the pressure better and on October 14, Babar Azam & co. just could not handle it with an almost jam-packed 1,30,000 fans rallying behind India’s eleven heroes on the field. As Pakistan’s batting crumbled, they folded for a lowly 191 at the Narendra Modi Stadium. The chase turned out to be a walk in the park for India as skipper Rohit led it from the front, guiding the team to an impressive 7-wicket win. With the victory, India maintained their perfect record against the arch-rivals, making it 8-0 at the ODI World Cups.
Hardik’s injury and Shami’s dream run
India were dealt a major blow in the middle of their group-stage journey as all-rounder Hardik Pandya got injured during the clash against Bangladesh while bowling. With the ankle injury, Hardik was initially set to miss a couple of matches but was later ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. However, injury to Hardik turned into an opportunity for Mohammed Shami and he latched onto it with both hands. Shami, since then has taken three fifers against New Zealand (twice) and Sri Lanka. Along with that Shami also became the fastest to 50 wickets in World Cup history.
Virat Kohli’s historic ton
One of the biggest moments in Indian cricketing history and definitely the biggest in Virat Kohli’s career came when he surpassed legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most ODI tons, notching up a historic 50th century against New Zealand in the first semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. As Kohli bowed down to Sachin, sitting in the stands after hitting the hundred, it left an ever-lasting impression in the hearts of a billion fans around the world. With 765 runs, Kohli also finished as the highest-ever run-getter in a single edition of the competition.
Biggest ever win at World Cup
Mohammed Shami turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief in India’s biggest ever win at the World Cup. The massive record for India came with a 302-run mauling of Sri Lanka in Mumbai. After Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer‘s dazzling fifties powered India to a monstrous 357/8, the Lankan batters were struck by lightning. As the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Shami breathed fire, the Islanders folded for 55 inside 20 overs. Shami decimated the Lankan batting order, finishing with figures of 5 for 18 in India’s biggest ever World Cup win and second overall in ODIs.
India finally beat Kiwis in a knockout game
India finally broke the Kiwi jinx as Rohit Sharma & co. ended the team’s losing streak against New Zealand in the ICC knockout matches. Registering their first win in a knock-out match over the Black Caps since 2003, India won the first semi-final of the tournament in Mumbai by a handsome 70-run margin. As Virat Kohli’s historic 50th ODI ton was followed by Shreyas Iyer’s blistering 70-ball 105, India posted an imposing 397 for 4. The Kiwis did give a good fight in the tall chase but eventually succumbed for 327. With the win, India also avenged the loss of the 2019 World Cup semi-final against the Kiwis.
World Cup 2023 semifinal breaking: Virat Kohli scores 50th ODI ton, breaks Sachin Tendulkar’s record
Unbeaten run ends
As Australia emerged on top in the summit clash for a record-extending sixth World Cup title, Pat Cummins & co also ended India’s unbelievable run at the tournament, handing them a defeat after 10 wins on the trot. Rohit and his men were a force to reckon with and were the team to beat in the competition. They finally found their match in Australia at the biggest stage. With the loss in the final, India’s run of most wins (10) in the single edition of the World Cup also came to an end. Having already broken the previous record of 9 wins, India missed out on equalling Australia’s World Cup record of most wins (2003 and 2007) in a single edition of the tournament — 11.