It hasn't been easy for any team to beat Australia to the top, and stay there. Sunil Rajguru explores the curse that has fallen upon the ones who dared:
In the very first two one-day World Cups in the 1970s, India didn't win a single match against a Test playing nation.
Yet in the very next edition, it miraculously toppled the Goliath West Indies to triumph in the finals.
We went on to win every major tournament in the next couple of years. We were the world champions for four years and favourites for 1987.
India did even better in 2007, winning the T20 World Cup despite having played a solitary international T20 before the tournament. This time, we were called world champions for only two years.
Now it looks like we will be Test world champions for an even shorter time.
Test cricket still proves to be a very tough nut to crack. A team needs years or maybe decades, before it can challenge a world champion and manage to stay on top for a substantial period after that.
West Indies had an army of mean fast bowlers who could hospitalise a batsman, and batsmen who could terrorise bowlers.
Then along came Australia, which boasted of the world's best spinner, fast bowler, wicketkeeper and batting attack. Not to mention the lineage of the best ever captains: Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting. In between Adam Gilchrist managed to conquer the Final Frontier in India.
So who after Australia? At various stages in the last decade, England, South Africa and India have tried to build the Third Empire - unconvincingly.
Australia's No. 1 challenger has invariably collapsed immediately after crossing the final hurdle. It's almost becoming like a curse. A look at how..
In Image: Australia team with the Frank Worrell trophy, Australia v West Indies, 3rd Test, Perth, December 20, 2009Images:
Getty, AP How cricket changed in the noughties
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