In the first edition of the World Cup in 1975, favourites West Indies lifted the title. Newest Test recruits India and Pakistan did not make it to the semis. So there were absolutely no surprises.
The script was followed in 1979 with West Indies reclaiming the crown. England and Australia, the oldest Test nations, were the first two runners-up.
It was only after that that the underdog made its presence felt in subsequent editions.
1983: A Tale of Two Underdogs
1983 began with one underdog and ended with another. All the action happened in Group B. In the very first match, Zimbabwe upset Australia when they put up a competitive 239/6.
World Cup 2011
In the next match, India scored their first World Cup win against a Test playing nation when they beat defending champions West Indies, throwing the group wide open. While the West Indies recovered to top the group, Australia was knocked out.
The group also featured the famous Battle of the Underdogs. India was reeling at 17-5 with Zimbabwe and Kapil Devé³ 175 not out led to a match-winning 266.
Of course, even when we entered the final, no-one gave us much of a chance. Till then, we had participated in 12 ODI series and tournaments and lost 10. We had only one series victory of note, against England on home soil (2-1). The other was with then minnows Sri Lanka.
So our defence of 183 for the title probably remains the biggest day of the underdog till date.
In Image: June 1983: The victorious Indian team celebrate with the trophy after their win in the World Cup final against the West Indies at Lord's in London
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