New Delhi, India (BBN)-India were reigning world champions at the start of 2015.
By the end of the year, their reputation in the one-day format had taken a serious beating after defeats against Bangladesh, which were immediately followed by reversals against South Africa at home, reports the India Today.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, having shed his Test duties, was back in action in January, leading his men into action against hosts Australia and England in a tri-nation tournament.
Many felt it was unnecessary ahead of the World Cup – after a four-Test series, the team should have been back home recurperating.
The results were disastrous- India failed to win a single match and were even manhandled by the Englishmen.
The reigning world champions, however, still entered the World Cup with top billing.
India were slotted in a tough group – they had Pakistn and South Africa to contend with.
West Indies and Zimbabwe could be dangerous on their day and were not to be underestimated.
The team was winless on its wretched tour of Australia when it took on Pakistan on February 14.
That’s when it all changed.
It was back to business for Team India as Virat Kohli struck a hundred, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane slammed rapid fifties and Pakistan were set a daunting 301.
Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma wrecked the Pakistani chase and shared eight wickets between them, setting up a 76-run win.
That set the tone for India’s World Cup campaign – solid performances with the bat and magical spells by the pacers.
South Africa, UAE, West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were all brushed aside as the defending champions cruised through to the semi-finals.
Some of these teams did pose some challenges but they were not serious enough to threaten the Indian juggernaut.
India were the only unbeaten side when the last-four assembled for their knockouts.
They were up against Australia, who looked every bit as good. But that was the end of that.
Beaten and bruised by the Aussies, India returned home. Their World Cup was over.
But it was a spirited defence and there was no reason to be dismayed.