It has been over a decade since that fateful day in Mumbai when Ravi Shastri bellowed, “Dhoni finishes off in style!” as the ball sailed over the long on boundary to end an emphatic campaign on the highest of notes. That was the 2011 ODI World Cup. 

In the years that followed, India have been perpetual World Cup contenders without ever going the distance.

Their wait for a T20 World Cup title has been even longer - 17 years. In 2007, a young Indian team led by MS Dhoni won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa by defeating Pakistan in a memorable final. India have had a few good T20 World Cups since, but they have always fallen short.

India have reached six World Cup Finals before this one - four in ODIs and two in T20s - winning three and losing three. Let's take a look back at their past performances in World Cup Finals:

1983 ODI World Cup Final: India stun everyone - including their own fans!

1983 was a memorable year for Indian cricket. After winning just 1 match in their first two World Cups, nobody thought India would do much in a stacked World Cup where most other teams were far stronger on paper. And yet, against all odds, India managed to reach the final with some dominant performances.

In the final at Lord's, India's total of 183 seemed insufficient against a formidable West Indies batting lineup. However, a disciplined bowling performance and a remarkable catch by Kapil Dev to dismiss Sir Viv Richards turned the tide. India bowled out the West Indies for 140, securing their first-ever World Cup title and sparking a revolution that turned India into a hardcore cricket-loving country almost overnight.

2003 ODI World Cup Final: Halted by the Australian juggernaut

It took 20 years for India to reach another World Cup final. After being largely lacklustre in previous editions, the Indian team put in an inspired sprint to the finals in 2003. 

Led by Sourav Ganguly, India showcased a blend of experienced players and promising young talent. They dominated their group stage matches, with standout performances from Sachin Tendulkar, who was the tournament's highest run-scorer, and bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath.

In the final at Johannesburg, Australia's captain Ricky Ponting played a sensational innings, scoring an unbeaten 140. Chasing a daunting target, India stumbled early, losing Tendulkar in the first over. Despite some resistance from Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid, India's chase never gained momentum, and they were eventually bowled out for 234. 

2007 T20 World Cup: Captain Cool and his band of merry men

The inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa marked a new era for international cricket. It also came a few months after India’s shocking ODI World Cup capitulation where they failed to make it past the first round. 

The senior players opted out, which paved the way for MS Dhoni to become India’s captain. With the exception of veterans Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, and Ajit Agarkar, a youthful Indian team played some exhilarating cricket and stormed into the final in glorious fashion. 

In a blockbuster final against Pakistan, Gautam Gambhir's solid 75 and Rohit Sharma's cameo helped India post a competitive total of 157. Pakistan's chase was derailed by Irfan Pathan’s 3-fer and RP Singh’s decisive spell. Misbah-ul-Haq threatened to turn things around with some spectacular late hitting, but a memorable final over from Joginder Sharma helped India secure a thrilling five-run victory. 

2011 ODI World Cup: India end a 28-year wait

The 2011 World Cup, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, was a historic event for Indian cricket. The Indian team, led by MS Dhoni, were considered one of the favourites. They performed consistently throughout the tournament, with notable victories against Australia in the quarter-final and Pakistan in the semi-final. The final, held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, saw India face Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka posted a challenging total of 274, thanks to a century from Mahela Jayawardene. India faced early setbacks, losing Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar quickly. However, Gautam Gambhir's composed 97 and MS Dhoni's match-winning 91*, including the iconic World Cup-winning six, guided India to victory. This win was significant as it ended a 28-year wait for an ODI World Cup and cemented Dhoni's legacy as one of India's greatest captains. The victory also fulfilled the dreams of millions of Indian fans and was a fitting tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, who was playing his last World Cup.

2014 T20 World Cup: A dominant run ends in heartbreak

The 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh saw India dominate the group stages and the knockout rounds. They defeated teams like Pakistan, West Indies, Australia, and South Africa to reach the final against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli was in sublime form throughout the tournament, scoring consistently and playing a crucial role in India's success.

Despite looking like the favourites heading into the final, India's batting was stopped in their tracks by sensational planning and guile by the Sri Lankan bowlers. Led by Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lankan bowlers tied down every Indian batter other than Kohli, with Yuvraj Singh famously struggling to get the ball off the square. 

India could muster only 130/4 in their 20 overs, with Kohli scoring 77. Sri Lanka's experienced batters, led by Kumar Sangakkara, chased down the target with relative ease, securing their first T20 World Cup title. Despite the loss, India's performance in the tournament was commendable, and Virat Kohli was named the Player of the Tournament for his exceptional batting.

2023 ODI World Cup: Another dominant that ends in heartbreak

The 2023 ODI World Cup, held in India, was a roller-coaster tournament. Led by Rohit Sharma, India were unbeatable throughout the tournament, winning all their group matches and making short work of their 2019 Semi-Final adversaries New Zealand to reach the final. Australia, after a shaky start, recovered strongly to become the second finalists. 

This led to a much-anticipated clash between two cricketing giants in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

India batted first and posted a modest total of 240, with contributions from Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Australia's chase began poorly, with early wickets putting them under pressure. However, Travis Head played a remarkable innings, scoring 137 in just 120 deliveries and guiding Australia to their 6th ODI World Cup title. 

2024 T20 World Cup: An opportunity for India to overcome their trophy drought

India's 2024 T20 World Cup journey has been amazing, but they now face their toughest opponent yet. Both India and South Africa come into the T20 World Cup final undefeated. India have been here before, while South Africa have reached their maiden World Cup final. The match is sure to be a thriller, but India will want to finish on the right side of this one.