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Five World Cup Events that changed cricket

Five World Cup Events that changed cricket
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First Published: Fri, Feb 04 2011. 06 44 PM IST

Washed out: Groundsmen cover the pitch as rain disrupts a match in South Africa. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Washed out: Groundsmen cover the pitch as rain disrupts a match in South Africa. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Updated: Fri, Feb 04 2011. 06 44 PM IST
South Africa’s rain-hit semi-final loss in 1992
Washed out: Groundsmen cover the pitch as rain disrupts a match in South Africa. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
A rejuvenated post-apartheid South African squad surprised everyone with some electrifying cricket to reach the semi-final of the 1992 World Cup against England. South Africa needed just 22 runs from 13 balls to win before a short burst of rain made a mockery of the match. A farcical rain rule meant South Africa faced a revised target of 22 runs off one ball to win when the match resumed. It was more than apparent that a new rain rule was needed, and by 1997, the Duckworth Lewis (D/L) method, invented by British statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, was put in place. The International Cricket Council (ICC) adopted the method for the 1999 World Cup, but it was not used even once. In 2001, the D/L method was officially adopted by the ICC for all levels of cricket.
• South Africa’s target if the D/L method had been used in the 1992 World Cup semi-final: five to win from one ball.
• South Africa miscalculated the D/L revised score in the 2003 World Cup and finished by blocking the last ball of a rain-curtailed match against Sri Lanka. They needed one run to win, and were eliminated from the tournament.
India’s victory in England in 1983
Top bowler: Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan. Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
Kapil Dev and his men pulled off the then biggest surprise in cricket by beating twice champions West Indies in the World Cup final. Instantly, cricket became India’s sport of choice, overshadowing all other games. Post-1983, the power and support base for cricket too began shifting towards the subcontinent from its traditional bastion in England. The next World Cup in 1987 was held in India and Pakistan, followed by the 1996 World Cup that India co-hosted with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Inevitably, the subcontinental teams began making their mark in world cricket. Pakistan lifted the trophy in 1992, followed by Sri Lanka in 1996. By 2005, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had become the richest and most influential cricket board in the world, completing the process that had been inadvertently set in motion by India’s only World Cup-winning team.
Individual records by Asian players in ODIs
Most runs: 17,629, Sachin Tendulkar, India
Most centuries: 46, Sachin Tendulkar, India
Highest partnership: 331, Sachin Tendulkar/Rahul Dravid, India vs New Zealand, 1999
Most wickets: 517, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka
Best bowling: 8/19, Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, 2001
Most five-wicket hauls: 13, Waqar Younis, Pakistan
Jonty Rhodes at the 1992 edition
Flying fielder: Jonty Rhodes redefined fielding skills with his acrobatic approach. Touchline Photo/Getty Images; Caught: Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene. Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
Till 1992, cricket was a game meant primarily for batsmen and bowlers, and fielding was just something everyone had to do. Jonty Rhodes changed that—diving like a missile towards the stumps to run out Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq. This became the iconic image not just of that Cup, but also of cricket in the 1990s. For more than a decade after that, Rhodes set the standard for fielding, pulling off unbelievable catches with acrobatic leaps, or running out desperate batsmen with lightning throws. By the beginning of the 2000s, Rhodes’ exploits on the field had raised the standards of fielding for every international team, and made it mandatory for teams to appoint fielding coaches. Rhodes himself has been a fielding coach for South Africa, Pakistan and now Kenya, and a fielding consultant for England.
From Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan to India’s Yuvraj Singh and Australia’s Ricky Ponting, fielding had never been as glamorous before Rhodes went airborne.
Most catches in an ODI innings
Jonty Rhodes: Five vs West Indies, 1993
Most ODI catches in career
Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka: 168, 330 matches
Mohammed Azharuddin, India: 156, 334 matches
Ricky Ponting, Australia: 152, 352 matches
Jonty Rhodes: Five vs West Indies, 1993
Most ODI catches in career
Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka: 168, 330 matches
Mohammed Azharuddin, India: 156, 334 matches
Ricky Ponting, Australia: 152, 352 matches
Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana as openers
Blitzkrieg: Sanath Jayasuriya in action. Sunil Saxena/Hindustan Times
Thinking ahead to the 1996 World Cup in the subcontinent, Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore and captain Arjuna Ranatunga came up with the idea of using two pinch hitters as openers during Lanka’s tour of Australia in 1996, inspired by the success of New Zealand opener Mark Greatbatch’s high-speed cameos in the 1992 World Cup. With anarchic irreverence, Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana went about destroying bowling attacks. Sri Lanka’s only World Cup win was set on their slash-and-burn opening partnerships, where they exploited the field restrictions in the first 15 overs. Jayasuriya finished as the man of the tournament with 221 runs at a strike rate of 131.54. Since then, ODI scores have routinely crossed the 300-run mark per innings because it became a norm for every international team to open with their most aggressive batsmen—Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (later Virender Sehwag) for India and Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden for Australia being some of the best examples.
Highest opening partnerships in ODIs
Upul Tharanga/Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka): 286 vs England, 2006
James Marshall/Brendon McCullum (New Zealand): 274 vs Ireland, 2008
Sachin Tendulkar/Sourav Ganguly (India): 258 vs Kenya, 2001
Sachin Tendulkar/Sourav Ganguly (India): 252 vs Sri Lanka, 1998
Marvan Atapattu/Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka): 237 vs Australia, 2003
Best opening pair in ODIs with at least 1,500 runs
Sourav Ganguly/Sachin Tendulkar (India): 136 matches, 6,609 runs, 49.32 average
Matthew Hayden/Adam Gilchrist (Australia): 114 matches, 5,372 runs, 48.39 average
Gordon Greenidge/Desmond Haynes (West Indies): 102 matches, 5,150 runs, 52.55 average
Herschelle Gibbs/Gary Kirsten (South Africa): 66 matches, 2,838 runs, 46.52 average
Chris Gayle/Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies): 43 matches, 1,947 runs, 48.67 average
Australia’s 1999 win
Unbeaten: (above) Australia with the 1999 World Cup (AFP); and Ricky Ponting. Rajnish Katyal/Hindustan Times
Australia humiliated Pakistan in the final of the 1999 World Cup at Lord’s, England. Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne ripped through the Pakistani batting line-up to dismiss them for just 132, the lowest total in a World Cup final. Australia raced home in 21 overs for the loss of two wickets, signalling the start of the most dominant era in cricket by any team. The core of that World Cup-winning team—McGrath, Warne, Mark and Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Michael Bevan—was responsible for Australia’s incredible success in both Tests and ODIs, and when Ponting took over as captain in 2002, the record just got better. Three successive World Cup wins later (1999, 2003 and 2007), the Australian team finally began to lose its aura in 2009 after a decade of complete control, with a loss to England in the Ashes. They still come into the 2011 World Cup unbeaten since the 1999 tournament.
Australia facts
Most victories as ODI captain: 122 matches, Ricky Ponting
Longest undefeated run in World Cups: 29 matches
Longest undefeated run in ODIs: 21 matches (excluding World Cups)
Australia’s record in ODIs pre- and post-1999
1971-1998: 406 matches, 220 won, 172 lost, three tied, 11 no result, 1.27 win/loss ratio
1999–2007: 263 matches, 192 won, 57 lost, five tied, nine no result, 3.36 win/loss ratio
rudraneil.s@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Feb 04 2011. 06 44 PM IST