Was West Indies Really Invincible!!

West Indies won the first two World Cups because Australia and England succumbed to Pressure losing from a winning position. It was more about pressure in the finals. Even West Indies succumbed to pressure in 1983 and underdogs India won. West Indies proved they were not invincible. The Australians who completed a hattrick of World Cup wins were invincible.

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West Indies might be a giant during the 1970s and early 80s but when it came to World Cups they did not win because they were invincible. An invincible team will trounce their opponents, specially in the final. The Australian teams that won the World Cups in 1999, 2003 and 2007 trounced their opponents in the finals. Pakistan was trounced in 1999, India in 2003 and Sri lanka in 2007 World Cup.

Did West Indies do anything of that sort? Let us check the finals of 1975 and 1979 World Cups.

In 1975, strong Australians under Ian Chappell entered the final. Driven by century from Captain Lloyd, West Indies scored a huge total of 291/8 in 60 overs despite 5/48 by Gary Gilmour.

Australians were well on track. In fact with the help of Ian Chappell’s half-century and useful contributions from others they did reach 274 that too despite losing wickets continuously. Australians lost the game to the run outs, still they almost reached there losing only by 17 runs. The pressure and three run outs by young Vivian Richards made them loose.

In 1979, West Indies met England in the final and scored 286/9 in 60 overs. England were well on course to title win at 182/2. But the wicket of Graham Gooch saw one of the biggest show of nine pins. English batsmen were bowled out within next 12 runs. It was again the pressure of playing at home and the final against which England crumbled.

The same pressure worked in 1983. Unfortunately, West Indies had to bat second and they became its victim. The underdogs “weak” Indians met them in the final and having sent to bat were as expected bowled out for just 183 runs.

An easy win for the strong West Indies was on the cards. But, Sandhu, Madan Lal and Roger Binny ensured the quick return of 5 most successful batsman of 1983 World Cup. Greenidge, Haynes, Richards, Gomes and Lloyd perished leaving West Indies at 66/5.

An invincible team would have fought and chased 184 runs against the underdogs. But West Indies perished to a 43 runs defeat, unable to complete the hattrick.

On the other hand, Australians met strong teams from Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka in the three finals, respectively. Yet, they did not only win the final but trounced the three Asian teams leaving no doubt that they are invincible.

West Indies won due to pressure on others who batted second, and lost also due to pressure as it batted second.

Pressure was the key factor in the first three World Cup finals. West Indies was not invincible.

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