India's track record in the ICC World Cup has been neither too dazzling nor very dismal. The country which started off as a minnow in the one day event has since come of age and has pretty much arrived at super-power status.
But the incredible heights it has reached in One Day Cricket's biggest global tournament has been off-set by some disturbing low-points as well. Indeed, the same team that had won the World Cup once and has reached the final on another occasion and the semi-final twice has also had first round exits three times, most recently of course, in the 2007 edition.
So, how does India stand in the list of teams that have played in the World Cup? India is placed at No. 5 in terms of its success rate with a win percentage of 56.14. That's right, in its 58 World Cup matches, India has claimed victory in 32 and been handed defeat in 25.
Any guesses which side has been the most successful in World Cups? No prizes for anyone who came up with Australia. The team from Down Under is far and away the best performer in the quadrennial event, snatching 51 wins from its 69 encounters at a win percentage of 73.91.
Second in the list of most victorious World Cup teams is South Afirca which is neck-and-neck with the West Indies, both possessing a success rate of 62.5 %. However, the Windies have played more matches at 57 (of which they've won 35) to South Africa's 40 (of which the team from the Rainbow Nation has won 25). The reason for the disparity is due to the Proteas' late entry in the World Cup, making their debut only in 1992 after the nation was readmitted into the global cricketing fraternity.
England is the third most successful World Cup country, winning 36 of their 59 matches at a win percentage of 62.06, just a shade behind the Windies and the Proteas. However, the team has not even made it to the semi-finals of the event since 1992 when it reached the final. But this year, they look in prime reckoning for a strong performance given their recent form.
New Zealand is just ahead of India at No. 4, winning 56.45 % of all their World Cup matches. That's a tally of 35 victories from 62 matches. After India comes Pakistan, with a winning percentage of 55.55 (30 wins from 56 matches) in World Cups, followed by Sri Lanka at 43.86 % (25 wins from 57 matches).
Then come the minnows - Kenya has a winning percentage of 27.27 (6 wins from 23 matches), Bangladesh with 25% (5 wins from 20 matches), Ireland with 22.22% (2 wins from 9 matches), Zimbabwe with 19.05% (8 wins from 45 matches), the Netherlands with 14.29% (2 wins from 14 matches) and finally Canada, with a winning percentage of 8.33, having won 1 out of its 12 World Cup encounters.
Will this be the World Cup which shakes up all those equations? Ireland and Bangladesh proved last time around that they can be real giant killers, the former shutting the door on Pakistan and the latter upsetting India and South Africa.
India, themselves have a few scores to settle, especially against South Africa which they has lost to in their only World Cup encounter, back in 1999. So the die is cast for a scintillating World Cup. India will have to, and has the ability, of performing better than its track record in the tournament suggests.