On this day: Australia end defending champion India’s World Cup 2015 campaign

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the worldwide sporting calendar. The novel Covid-19 virus has affected Formula One, football, rugby, Olympics and has also hit cricket hard with the sporting world coming to a standstill.

With the dearth of live cricketing action, we keep taking you back every day, offering glimpses of history. Today, March 26 is another day, when the defending champions India were thwarted by a rampant Australia in World Cup 2015 semi-final.

India played like World Champions throughout the tournament but failed when it mattered the most. India won all their six matches of the Pool stage and finished top before beating Bangladesh to book their semi-final berth.

India were the only side in the tournament to have bowled out their opposition on all seven occasions, which perhaps laid the foundation for their unbeaten run in seven matches.

After being asked to bat first, Steve Smith struck a fluent 105 from 93 balls and Aaron Finch 81 as Australia posted 328-7, the highest score in a World Cup semi-final.

Indian batting cracked under pressure from the opposition bowlers Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc. India made a solid start to their reply but lost four wickets for 32 runs and fell well short on 233 despite captain MS Dhoni making 65.

For India, the defense of the ICC trophy they won on home soil four years ago and a run of 16 consecutive wins in major one-day tournaments – the World Cup and Champions Trophy – was over.

Australia powered into the World Cup final with a 95-run victory over defending champions India on March 26, 2015.

India’s journey in the World Cup 2019 was also cut short by a Kane Williamson led New Zealand in the rain hit semi-final in Manchester.

Since the 2013 Champions Trophy win under MS Dhoni, the men’s team has reached 2 more finals (World T20 2014, Champions Trophy 2017) and 3 semi-finals (2015 World Cup, 2016 World T20, 2019 World Cup), failing to win the corresponding matches.

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