HT takes a look at the World Cup twists and turns that shaped the evolution of the one-day game.
Long before Jonty Rhodes flung himself acrobatically, Viv Richards (extreme right) showed the public the role fielding would play in ODIs. Chasing 291, Australia were 81/1 in the 1975 final before Richards broke the Aussies’ back with high-class fielding, running out Allan Turner, Greg Chappell and Ian Chappell.
Slow, no go
The 1979 final was an example of how and how not to play a one-dayer. Richards and Collis King smashed the English, who in their turn just batted themselves out of the game. Chasing 287 off 60 overs, England were 183/2 at one time before the asking rates worked against them and they folded for 194 in 51 overs.
Seeds of the shift of power as the hub of cricket from England to the subcontinent were sowed in 1987 as the Indo-Pak edition was the first to be held outside England.
Sri Lanka unleashed pinch-hitters at the top in the 1996 edition — Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana (inset). The ploy worked as the Lankans won the title.
The utility men have become crucial to the fortunes of any ODI squad, but it all started with Kapil’s Devils in 1983 — Mohinder Amarnath, Roger Binny, Madan Lal and Kirti Azad.
Allan Donald’s chaotic run out may have been the most memorable moment of the 1999 edition. But more importantly, it marked the beginning of Australia's Cup supremacy. Their unbeaten run of seven matches that fetched them the ’99 Cup continued till the end of the 2007 edition.
Sachin’s 100th hundred
All eyes will be on Sachin Tendulkar during the 2011 World Cup and the reasons are there for all to see. He has set the benchmark for excellence in one-day cricket and the Indian legend is in a great position to leave a lasting legacy in the game. There is a realistic expectation that he will emulate his Test feat and be the first batsman to score 50 ODI centuries. He has 51 Test and 46 ODI hundreds. And, what better stage to achieve the feat than in the biggest event in the game and in front of his home crowd. Giving rise to the possibility is the weaker group India is placed in.
If he plays true to his current form, then we can put a tick in the box against the century mark in the group games against Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands. South Africa too is in India’s group and we can count on a three-figure knock against them. After all, doesn’t he love their pace attack? His last innings in India against Dale Steyn & Co was a double hundred. By all indications, this may well be Ton-dulkar’s Cup.