India the World champions of 1983 and 2011 has the record of producing great batsmen over the years. The biggest stage of all also witnessed some of the great innings by Indians. My top 5 innings are as follows :-
On 26th May 1999 the world cricket witnessed two of the precociously talented youngsters Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid at their very best in Taunton ground. Sourav Ganguly scored a blistering 183 runs and Rahul Dravid played a fabulous knock of 145 runs. They both stitched a partnership of 318 which was highest ever partnership in a world cup match until 2015. The way they accompanied that day was perfect. Dravid initially played the role of attacking batsmen as Ganguly took some time. But eventually with Dravid getting run out and Ganguly's onslaught saw Ganguly got past Dravid's score. He continued his onslaught till the penultimate ball of the innings. Dravid scored a 129 balls 145 and Ganguly scored 183 runs in 158 deliveries. These innings can't be separated and they will take 5th place in my all time best innings of World cup.
Against Zimbabwe in 1983 wc Kapil Dev played the best innings of his life. Many might argue that Zimbabwe was not the strongest side but they already had the scalp of Australia before in the group stage. When Kapil Dev came to bat India were tottering at 9 for the loss of 4 wickets. To make the matter worse Yashpal Sharma also got out and India were 17 for 5. Kapil found and abled partner in Roger Binny and they had a 60 runs partnership. But as Roger Binny departed Ravi Shastri soon followed him and India were reduced to 78 for 7. Kapil Dev then stitched a partnership of 62 runs with Madan Lal but the final flourish was still remaining. With Syed Kirmani he had a 126 runs partnership which took India's score to 266 for 8. Kapil Dev scored 175* in 138 balls with the help of 16 boundaries and 6 over boundaries at a frightening strike rate of 126.8 . Kapil dev's 175 proved to be crucial as India went on to win the match and also eventually went on to win the world cup.
Gautam Gambhir's 97 off 122 balls will go down as one of the best innings ever played in an world cup final. Chasing a stiff 275 runs to win, Sehwag's early departure for a duck was a shock for the entire nation. In an intense pressure Gambhir came into the crease. After a flurry of boundaries Sachin Tendulkar also departed for the final time in an world cup. Gambhir was then joined by a young Virat Kohli. But Virat Kohli also departed after scoring 35 in a partnership of 86 runs. At 114 for the loss of 3 wickets captain Dhoni joined Gambhir. Gambhir scored brilliant 97 runs in that final and was a vital cog in Inda's world cup truimph.
Batting first Pakistan had put up a score of 273 runs in their alloted 50 overs. In reply India had a brilliant start as both Sehwag and Tendulkar started with all guna blazing. India scored 50 runs in first 5 overs without losing any wicket. But Pakistan soon turned it around as they picked up Sehwag and Sourav in a quick succession. These wickets hardly had any impact on Sachin Tendulkar as he continued his assault on Pakistani bowlers. A young Kaif then joined Tendulkar and stiched a partnership. Tendulkar brought up his half century in 37 balls. Sachin was suffering from cramps but it didn't stopped him from playing his natural game. In that match he also completed his 12,000 ODI runs. Everything was going fine until Afridi bowled out Kaif. Though the situation was still under control, India had to be cautious. When India's score was 177,Akhtar attempted a bouncer targetting Sachin's rib cage. The ball was tad too quick and Sachin trying to fend it off mistimed the ball to a diving Younis Khan. When Sachin got out on a brilliant 98 in 75 balls India was still 97 runs away from victory. Dravid and Yuvraj then ensured that India get the required runs without much fuss. Sachin's 98 runs was studded with 1 six and 12 fours and is still regarded as one of the best ever innings in world cup.
On 2nd April 2011 in the night of final Dhoni promoted himself up. He came in ahead of Yuvraj Singh after the departure of Virat Kohli. Though the initial pressure had eased off but India still required an odd 160 runs to lift the world cup trophy. After watching out first few deliveries Dhoni started to open up as he started playing shots on parts of the ground. A successful 275 chase would be highest succesful run chase ever in the history of world cups,so the heat was still on. MS Dhoni completed his half century in 52 deliveries but the job was still left. With 52 rquired from as many deliveries, an well set Gautam Gambhir was cleaned up by Thisara Perera. Dhoni was then joined by an in form Yuvraj Singh but there was nothing much to do for Yuvi as Dhoni was on mood that day. An out of form Dhoni got back his touch when it mattered the most. After the departure of Gautam Gambhir,Dhoni became more ferocious. When 4 runs were required of final 11 deliveries, Dhoni finished the match with a six over long on and that famous commentry " Dhoni finishes off it in style a magnificent strike into the crowd,India lifts the world cup after 28 years. The party starts in the dressing room and it has been an Indian captain who was absolutely magnificent in the nighy of the final". Whole India's 28 years wait had finally came to an end with that six from Dhoni.
MS Dhoni remained not out on 91 off 79 deliveries which comprised of 8 boundaries and couple of over boundaries. An innings which had minimal risk yet maximum effect. With the help of that innings India managed to chase down the highest ever total in an World cup final. This will go down as the best ever world cup innings played by an Indian.