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Steve Waugh: 'We were rank outsiders in 1987'

The future Australia captain was just 22 when he played a vital role with the ball in his first World Cup, especially at a tense stage in the final at Eden Gardens

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh bats during the 1987 World Cup, India v Australia, World Cup, Delhi, October 22, 1987

"Of all the World Cups I played in, that one in India was really a dream"  •  Getty Images

These are great memories for Australian cricket - a turning point in our history. We weren't successful up to that point and were probably rank outsiders for that tournament. Under Bob Simpson and Allan Border's leadership, we worked tremendously hard and trained and were able to gel together as a team.
To play at Eden Gardens in front of 90,000 people who were pretty much cheering for us because England had beaten India and we had beaten Pakistan in the semi-finals - so we had already made a very large fan base.
I think the guy who played the best innings was the one who is often forgotten - Mike Veletta. His 45 off 31 balls was an outstanding innings.
We didn't get a big total, it was hard to defend, but then we bowled really well. Of course, we got Mike Gatting reverse-sweeping, which was controversial at that point.
The game was in the balance with probably two overs to go. I remember bowling late in the innings and feeling under enormous pressure but also enjoying the experience. I knew if I bowled a couple of good overs, we could win the game. So for me as a cricketer, it was a great, joyous occasion. We didn't expect to really win it, in India, so in the end it was amazing. We got some momentum and went all the way.
Of all the World Cups I played in, that one in India was really a dream.