Millennium Post

India sans Sachin give Pak hope ahead of WC opener

India sans Sachin give Pak hope ahead of WC opener
Pakistan have lost all their five World Cup meetings against India and Tendulkar, who featured in all of them, proved a stumbling block on at least four occasions. India and Pakistan face each other in a high-voltage clash at the Adelaide Oval on February 15 to kickstart their campaigns in the 2015 edition of cricket’s showpiece event.

Tendulkar, who retired in 2013 as the world’s leading run-getter in both Test and one-day cricket, added colour to the World Cup, both literally and metaphorically. Coloured clothing was introduced to the World Cup when Tendulkar made his tournament debut in Australia and New Zealand in 1992 after the first four editions were played in whites. Over the next six editions, the prolific Mumbaikar scored more runs (2,278) and centuries (six) than any other batsman in the tournament, ending his World Cup career with a creditable average of 56.95.

Tendulkar often spoke of his dream of winning the World Cup for India, saying he was inspired as a 10-year-old by the country’s triumph in the 1983 editon when Kapil Dev’s men stunned favourites West Indies at Lord’s.

He saw action from close quarters as a ball boy at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium when India co-hosted the World Cup with Pakistan in 1987, two years before he burst on the world scene as a 16-year-old. Tendulkar was the tournament’s leading scorer when India made the semifinals in 1996 and the final in 2003 before he realised his dream when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side won back the title on a memorable night in Mumbai on April 2, 2011.

The 41-year-old, whose six World Cups is a record matched only by Javed Miandad of Pakistan, has been apppointed as the brand ambassador for the upcoming tournament by ICC.

Tendulkar appeared to reserve his best at the World Cup for the high-profile matches against Pakistan, contests that were followed passionately by millions of fans on both sides of the border.
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