World Cup flashback: Nightmare for India at Leicester
Tendulkar had to return to Mumbai for his father's funeral. The Flower brothers - Grant (45) and Andy (68 not out) guided the underdogs to 252 for nine in 50 overs
It was the worst start to the World Cup India could ever imagine. Mohammed Azharuddin's 1999 team were not expected to beat South Africa in their opener, and they did not. But surely, Zimbabwe could have been overcome at Leicester even though the 1983 champions did not have Sachin Tendulkar in their ranks. Tendulkar had to return to Mumbai for his father's funeral. The Flower brothers – Grant (45) and Andy (68 not out) guided the underdogs to 252 for nine in 50 overs.
Sourav Ganguly, who had top-scored for India in the previous game against SA with 97, could manage only nine. Sadagoppan Ramesh (55) and Ajay Jadeja (43) performed a rescue act through a 99-run stand after Rahul Dravid and Azhar failed to come up with a big score. But that was not enough to seal the game. Pacer Henry Olonga struck three vital blows towards the end — Robin Singh (35), Javagal Srinath (18) and Venkatesh Prasad (0) — for India to experience one of their most heartbreaking of World Cup losses. Zimbabwe's three-run win meant they had won their second game on the trot, an antithesis of India's situation.
Did you know?
Out of 29 World Cup matches that Ricky Ponting captained Australia in, he lost just two matches and won 26. He also won the maximum amount of tosses — 14.
Zaheer Khan is the most successful Indian bowler in World Cups with 44 wickets in 23 matches. Javagal Srinath also has 44 wickets to his credit, but they came in 34 matches.
Man to watch
Faf du Plessis
The captain will undoubtedly play a significant role in South Africa's yet another quest to clinch their maiden World Cup. With AB de Villiers's shock retirement from international cricket, South Africa's batting has taken a bit of a beating as far as quick runs are concerned. However, with Du Plessis promoting himself to the No. 3 position, the skipper has taken care of South Africa's scoring rate concern. South Africa will hope their captain leads from the front especially in the batting department.
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