Bengaluru, June 4: India, one of the favourites of ICC World Cup 2019, will launch their campaign on Wednesday, June 5, when they take on South Africa at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton in a day game.
The two-time champions are the 10th and the last team to begin their World Cup as they had to observe a mandatory 15-day gap since the end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 which though ended on May 12, giving India 24 days as recovery period.
Now with all eyes focusing on the Men In Blue's opening game, we can dig up some history. India's opening fixtures at the World Cup have not been always happy and out of the 11 editions, India could manage to begin their World Cup journey with a win on only five occasions.
Here is a look:
In the first-ever game in the cricket World Cup, the hosts led by Mike Denness won the toss and elected to bat. Madan Lal bowled the first ball of the WC while English opener Dennis Amiss scored the first hundred - 137 off 147 balls. England posted 334 for 4 in 60 overs.
India's chase went down as the most bizarre one in the history of the ODIs as the great Sunil Gavaskar scored 36 not out in 174 balls! Perhaps, he was playing for a draw as India were more accustomed to Test cricket those days. Srinivas Venkataraghavan's team ended up ay 132 for 3 in 60 overs and India lost by a whopping 202 runs. Amiss was the man of the match.
Clive Lloyd won the toss and sent Venkataraghavan's side to bat and they folded for 190 in 53.1 overs. Gundappa Viswanath was the top scorer with 75 as Michael Holding took 4 for 33. Opener Gordon Greenidge hit 106 not out as the Caribbeans overhauled the target in the 52nd over, losing just one wicket which was taken by Kapil Dev. Greenidge was the man of the match.
Perhaps India's best opening in the World Cup. Lloyd won the toss and elected to field and Kapil's Devils scored 262 for 8 in 60 overs with Yashpal Sharma top scoring with 89. Three Caribbean bowlers took two wickets apiece.
India then triggered an unlikely collapse in the much-feared batting line-up of the West Indies, taking 9 for 157 before the last wicket partnership saw 71 runs. Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri took three wickets each as the Caribbeans were all out for 228 in the 55th over. Tail-enders Andy Roberts and Joel Garner top scored with 37 with the former remaining unbeaten. Sharma was the man of the match.
Thanks to captain Kapil Dev's charity, Australia gained two runs as a boundary was changed to six on their appeal and it proved to be costly for the hosts. Kapil won the toss and sent Allan Border's side to bat first and in 50 overs, they totalled 270 for 6 with opener Geoff Marsh hitting 110. Manoj Prabhakar took 2 for 47.
Debutant Navjot Singh Sidhu led the Indian chase with 73 while Krish Srikkanth scored 70. But 4 for 56 from Craig McDermott saw India finishing at 269 in 49.5 overs. Marsh was the man of the match.
England captain Graham Gooch won the toss and elected to bat. He himself scored 51 and Robin Smith top scored with 91 as England posted 236 for 9 in 50 overs. Kapil, Prabhakar and Javagal Srinath took two wickets apiece.
Opener Ravi Shastri's 112-ball 57 only added to the pressure on Mohammad Azharuddin's India and they were all out for 227 in the final over despite some late surge. Dermott Reeve took 3 for 38. Ian Botham took 2 for 27 and was the man of the match.
This is the first of the two times that India played a non-Test-playing nation in their WC opener. Azharuddin won the toss and elected to field. Steve Tikolo top scored with 65 to help Kenya reach a score of 199 for 6 in 50 overs. Anil Kumble took 3 for 28.
Sachin Tendulkar then survived a close shout when on 99 and went on to register his first WC hundred (127 not out) and India won by 7 wickets with more than eight overs to spare. Tendulkar was the man of the match.
Azharuddin won the toss and elected to bat and riding a slow 97 (142 balls) from opener Sourav Ganguly, India reached 253 for 5 in 50 overs. Lance Klusener took 3 for 66.
Jacques Kallis then led the South African fightback with a 96 off 128 balls and Hansie Cronje's side lost 6 wickets to overhaul the target in the 48th over. Srinath took 2 for 69 and Kallis was adjudged the man of the match.
An Indian victory was never suspect against minnows Netherlands but Sourav Ganguly's side failed to impress even in its win. Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat but barring Tendulkar (52) and Dinesh Mongia (42), no other Indian batsman showed a resolve and India were all out for 204 in less than 49 overs.
Pacer Tim de Leede took 4 for 35. It was the Dutch side's sheer inexperience that they failed to make the chase a successful one. Opener Daan Van Bunge scored 62 but yet the Netherlands collapsed for 136 with Srinath taking 4 for 30. De Leede was the man of the match.
The most shocking World Cup opener India have ever had. Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bat and India were in all sorts of trouble losing three quick wickets. Opener Ganguly scored 66 off 129 balls as wickets kept on tumbling at the other end and India were all out for only 191 in 49.3 overs. Mashrafe Mortaza took 4 for 38. Three half-centuries from the Bangladeshi side with Mushfiqur Rahim top-scoring with 56 not out saw them home in the penultimate over. Mortaza was the man of the match. This loss proved too costly for India as they found themselves out of the tournament soon.
Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and sent India to bat first and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side took it almost as a 'grudge game'. Opener Virender Sehwag scored 175 in 140 balls while Virat Kohli scored 100 not out in his debut game at the WC. India posted a mammoth 370 for 4 in 50 overs.
Bangladesh also put in a valiant effort with opener Tamim Iqbal top scoring with 70 but they could manage 283 for 9 in 50 overs to lose by 87 runs. Pacer Munaf Patel took 4 for 48 and Sehwag was the man of the match.
The derby was held right at the beginning and Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat. Kohli started the World Cup with yet another hundred (107) and India scored 300 for 7 in 50 overs. Sohail Khan took 5 for 55 to be the best Pakistan bowler.
Pakistan had a good start but could not maintain the tempo and barring captain Misbah-ul-Haq who scored 76, no other batsman could score a fifty and the Men in Green were bowled out for 224 in 47 overs to lose by 76 runs. Mohammed Shami took 4 for 35. Kohli was the man of the match.