Monday, February 07, 2011

GREAT PERFORMANCES IN THE WORLD CUP:GRAHAM GOOCH-1987

GOOCH

India was one of the favourites to go the distance in the Reliance World Cup of 1987.In the semi-finals in Bombay, India had to face England led by Mike Gatting.

The Indian team was rocked by bad news even before a ball was bowled with Dilip Vengsarkar out of the match with tummy trouble caused by ‘Bombay Duck’. It became the most infamous dish of the time, considering Vengsarkar was in fine form and much was expected of him on his home ground. Even then, there was still a lot of firepower left in the Indian arsenal to reach the final.

But India did not account for one of the finest performances of the World Cup coming from the bat of Graham Gooch. Gooch started his test career on a pair facing the likes of Dennis Lillee. There was also a ban on him following a trip to South Africa on a rebel tour. However, after the ban was served, Gooch returned to the English team and there were enough indications of his prowess.

Gooch had this way of facing the bowlers with a very high backlift. He always seemed to a good player of pace bowling but on that day, Gooch took on the Indian spinners and broke a lot of hearts.

Ball after ball and over after over, Gooch swept the spinners and the Indian team seemed to be completely bereft of all ideas. Maninder Singh who once was talked of as the natural successor to the legendary Bishen Singh Bedi was swept out of the attack. The other spinner, Ravi Shastri also did not have any clue to stop Gooch.

The Indian chase was not successful with the loss of key wickets at crucial junctures and the final nail in the coffin was struck when Kapil Dev holed out to a fielder in the deep. The bowler was Eddie Hemmings and the fielder was Gatting. This marked the end of tenure for India as the holders of the World Cup. There was so much anger and frustration that Kapil was made the scapegoat and he lost the captaincy.

Graham Gooch once again blew the Indian team away in a test match in 1990 when he scored 333 in the first innings and a 100 in the second.

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