India’s victory over South Africa on Sunday means Rohit Sharma’s men have won every one of their eight games at the 2023 World Cup.
Their last group match comes this weekend against the Netherlands, making them overwhelming favourites to end the first stage with a 100 per cent record.
Following that will be the semi-final and, assuming they win that, the final. On current form, India are the team to beat, their batters, led by Rohit and Virat Kohli, look in great nick while the pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj offer the potency to cause any line-up problems.
Assuming they can maintain their dominance and emerge unbeaten, India will become just the fifth side to do it in World Cup history.
Here, we look at who did it previously:
West Indies – 1975 in England
A win that heralded the start of the Windies’ dominance of world cricket. Led by captain Clive Lloyd and featuring talented youngsters Viv Richards and Andy Roberts – two players that would go on to become cricketing greats – the West Indies were untouchable.
They won all three games in Group B, against Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, before seeing off New Zealand in the semis. The final at Lord’s was a rematch against the Aussies and, having been put into bat, they made 291 for eight from their 60 overs before bowling out their opponents for 274.
West Indies – 1979 in England
There was a sense of déjà vu four years later as the Windies were again unbeaten. Group-stage wins over India and New Zealand sandwiched an abandoned game against Sri Lanka to power Lloyd’s men into the last four. Pakistan were vanquished in the semis before England went the same way in the final, Richards smashing a brilliant century and Joel Garner taking five for 38.
Australia – 2003 in South Africa and Zimbabwe
It was 14 years before it happened again with Australia winning 13 matches to land the 2003 World Cup. Wins over India, Zimbabwe, England, Pakistan, Netherlands and Namibia saw them ease through the group phase before India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Zimbabwe were beaten in the Super Six. An unbeaten 91 from Andrew Symonds saw them past Sri Lanka in the semis and captain Ricky Ponting led from the front in the final with 140 not out as Australia hammered India.
Australia – 2007 in West Indies
Ponting’s brilliant team continued to dominate world cricket four years later. A relatively straightforward group phase saw them beat Scotland, Netherlands and South Africa. The Super Eight stage threatened to be harder but seven wins from seven games proved again that Australia were in a class of their own. South Africa were brushed aside with ease in the semis before a rain-affected final against Sri Lanka saw Australia emerge victors by 53 runs via the DL method.
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