The World Cup is now only eight days away and this countdown piece to the World Cup looks into the top five captains of the World Cup:
Clive Lloyd, West Indies: It is a given that he has to be one of the best World Cup captains if not the best. He led the side to two World Cup wins and one other final, which they would have won had it not been for a rash display of overconfident batting. To add to that, he was an excellent fielder and scored a century in the final of one of the World Cups that his side won. His presence was so vital to the side that post his retirement, West Indies have entered the semi-final of the tournament only once in the remaining seven tournaments.
Ricky Ponting, Australia:> Another two-time World Cup champion who has also been a part of the side under another leader on two other occasion. He will have the chance to make it three in a row as a captain of the side when the 2011 edition of the World Cup comes around but even without that, he led the side to two comprehensive World Cup wins – without dropping a single game.
Steve Waugh, Australia:> He won the 1999 World Cup for the side but the best part about him was that it was done against a run of play. Australia were never deemed to get to the semi-final let alone win the tournament after the kind of start that they had to the tournament. But a Steve Waugh century in what was the decider that allowed them to the semi-finals followed by a pulsating win over South Africa in the semi-final led them to the 1999 World Cup titles.
Kapil Dev, India: Kapil’s Devils, they were called. And devils they were, as they plucked West Indies, Australia, England and then West Indies again in the final to clinch the World Cup. And if one may add, against all odds. Of all the teams that have won the World Cup, India’s odds to do so were the longest and they had gone into the final at 66/1 to do so. Against West Indies, Kapil scalped a couple of wickets, took an excellent catch to dismiss Vivian Richards and won the final.
Imran Khan, Pakistan: Pakistan were down and out in the 1992 World Cup. They had been bowled out for 74 against England in another appalling batting performance and looked to be headed out when divine intervention in the form of rain stalled their defeat. The rest, as they say, is history. They managed to get to the semi-finals thanks to that extra point obtained from that abandoned game and won two successive games to win the tournament. Imran did everything, bat, bowl and get his team up to the morale that they had – all with a back injury.