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World Cup flashbacks: When Gooch swept India away in 1987 semifinal

Graham Gooch

India vs England at World Cup: In 1987 semi-final, Graham Gooch had swept India out from match

Bengaluru, June 29: If one reverse sweep was the villain for England in the final of the 1987 World Cup in at the Eden Gardens against Australia, several sweeps were the hero in the semi-final against India at the Wankhede Stadium.

While captain Mike Gatting brought his own downfall with that fatal reverse sweep, Graham Gooch won for his side sweeping against India in the second semi-final to demolish Kapil Dev's dream of doing a Clive Lloyd (Ricky Ponting was still some decades away).

The semifinal on November 5, 1987, was actually a 'grudge' one. Kapil's Devils had beaten England at their home in the semifinal of the 1983 edition by six wickets to make their maiden final.

This time, Kapil won the toss and sent the 1979 semi-finalists to bat first. There was a hope that to corner England with India's spin attack but Graham Gooch stood between India and a win.

Gooch's tactic nullified spinners

The England opener employed the tactic the non-subcontinental batsmen always did against the spinners in the sub-continent. The wicket was a bit under-prepared to suit the left-arm spinning duo of Maninder Singh and Ravi Shastri.

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But Gooch was undeterred and he kept on sweeping the spinners with full effect. Gooch, who had opened with Tim Robinson, was determined from the very beginning to wrest the upper hand and when he fell for 115 off 136 balls in the bowling of Maninder, England had reached 203.

Gooch was sweeping with such authority that day that any delivery that landed between mid-wicket and fine-leg had disappeared on the on-side because of the batsman's impeccable sweeping. Gooch had hit 11 fours on the day and his knock came a strike rate of 84 plus.

India had kept on hoping that Gooch would misconnect one eventually to fall but he didn't. The two spinners gave away 103 runs in their 20 overs and while Maninder took three, Shastri had none. He had added 117 crucial runs with Gatting for the third wicket and riding his ton, England reached 254 for six in 50 overs which was too good a total for India as they were all out for 219 with 27 balls yet to be bowled.

Gooch was the man of the match while Kapil had turned a villain within four years of winning his country their first World Cup.

Will Eoin Morgan's side adopt a similar strategy against the Indian spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav at Edgbaston on Sunday?

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Story first published: Saturday, June 29, 2019, 13:18 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 29, 2019
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