Ravi Shastri (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Indian player Ravi Shastri reflected the Indian cricket team’s close battles in the knockout matches of the ICC World Cup.

The Indian team has featured in all 12 editions of the 50-over marquee event. The Men in Blue managed to seal their berth in the knockout stage on seven occasions- four semi-finals and three finals- where twice they turned out as eventual champions in 1983 and 2011.

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India won two ICC World Cups

Shastri was part of the Indian squad that lifted the 1983 World Cup under Kapil Dev.  India won their second World Cup under MS Dhoni after a span of 28 years in the 2011 World Cup, which was a suitable farewell (in World Cups) for the Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar.

We Had A Better Team Than 1983 - Ravi Shastri On India's Painful Semi-Final Defeat In World Cup
Kapil Dev with the 1983 World Cup trophy [Image-Getty]
However, India had to endure the uncanny of the 2007 World Cup where the Rahul Dravid-led side was knocked out from the group stage after suffering shocking defeats from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

That semifinal loss hurt: Ravi Shastri

Shastri, who was part of the Indian team that lost to England in the semi-final of the 1987 World Cup at the Wankhede, saw a similar exit as the head coach of the Indian team during the 2019 World Cup. New Zealand outplayed Virat Kohli and his men in an 18-run nail-biting victory, the match was played in a two-day event owing to rain showers.

Virat Kohli during the India-New Zealand 2019 World Cup semi-final. Credits: Getty Images
Virat Kohli during the India-New Zealand 2019 World Cup semi-final. Credits: Getty Images

Shastri said the 1987 team was better than the one that won the trophy in the previous edition while the former Indian head coach called the 2019 WC defeat an unfortunate one.

“As a coach that semifinal game against New Zealand in 2019 got over the same day. Unfortunately, it started raining, and we had the momentum,” Shastri told ESPNcricinfo.

“As a player in the 87 World Cup semifinal, I think we had a better team than 83 to go the distance and win the final in Calcutta. So that semifinal loss hurt,” he added. 

India will host the 13th edition of the 2023 World Cup next year.

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