Dubai: Just like in every other sport, tactics used in cricket have evolved many folds- thanks to the ever-growing competition in the game. Be it Australia's Adam Gilchrist using squash in his glove in an attempt to loosen his grip on his bat or Pakistan's Wasim Akram and Imran Khan using the technique of reverse-swing, both batsmen and bowlers have come out with new strategies to refine their game.
The first Men's Cricket World Cup was played in 1975 and since then we have witnessed a lot of such evolutions. Clive Lloyd, who led West Indies to win the first-ever World Cup, did not just display an astounding captaincy but also guided his side by scoring a century in the final against Australia.
It was not just the players who amended their way of playing cricket, the game itself witnessed a change in 1987 World Cup when the overs were reduced from 60 to 50.
Sri Lanka clinched their maiden World Cup title in 1996 and it had contributions from the most prolific bowler in the history of international cricket, Muttiah Muralitharan. Along with Muralitharan, it was Aravinda de Silva who steered Sri Lanka to beat Australia in the final as he delivered an all-around performance in the final. De Silva scored played an unbeaten knock of 107 runs and dismissed three Australia batsman that helped his side register a dominating seven-wicket victory.
After the 1996 World Cup, next edition of the premier tournament took place in 1999 and Australia dominated the game as they bagged back-to-back three titles. Australia's Michael Bevan had a conspicuous contribution in the 1999 and 2003 World Cup. Bevan has an average of 53.58 in ODI cricket which shows his caliber and still ranks in the top five all-time highest average.
As the game grew, wicket-keepers' job was not only confined to just wicket-keeping as they had to do well with the bat as well to consolidate their position in the squad. Australia went with Gilchrist while India chose to use Rahul Dravid as wicket-keeper and following the trend Sri Lanka and South Africa roped in Kumar Sangakkara and AB de Villiers respectively for the 'behind the stumps' job.
The 12th edition of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, the first on British soil in 20 years, is about to commence on May 30 and it will be riveting to see whether the teams will come up with some new tactics in the premier tournament....