A Day That Changed Indian Cricket Forever: Cricket Fraternity Pays Tribute To Kapil Dev And The 1983 World Cup Winning Squad On Its 38th Anniversary

A Day That Changed Indian Cricket Forever: Cricket Fraternity Pays Tribute To Kapil Dev And The 1983 World Cup Winning Squad On Its 38th Anniversary

Kapil Dev with the 1983 World Cup trophy [Image-Getty]

25 June 1983 will always be remembered as the red-letter day in the history of Indian cricket as it was on this very day 38 years ago when Kapil Dev and his devils went on to script one of the greatest miracles in the history of sport; one that not only changed Indian cricket forever but it also paved way for a whirlwind change in the world cricket.

One-day cricket was just 12 years old in 1983 and India, much like T20 cricket two decades later, was pretty apprehensive about the format since its inception.

India had played just 40 ODIs in the decade or so since the start of One-day International cricket in 1971 and their indifferent attitude towards the format was truly visible from their opening World Cup fixture in 1975 where Sunil Gavaskar scored a total of 36 runs in 60 overs.

The winds of change were finally triggered in 1980 when selectors decided to make Kapil Dev the captain of the Indian team.

Under Dev, India beat Sri Lanka 3-0 and lost to Pakistan 1-3 but the nucleus of the team was beginning to take shape. From relying on the spin quartet to bolstering the attack with medium pace all-rounders like Madan Lal, Balwinder Sandhu, Roger Binny, Jimmy Amarnath, India’s strategy was clear: rely on the batsmen to post runs on the scoreboard and then leave it to the bowlers to be restrictive rather than attacking.

When Kapil Dev and his team traveled to England to take part in the World Cup in the summer of 1983, the odds stacked against them were 66:1. They had won 12 ODIs in their 40 game history and only one on English soil- against East Africa.

India started their campaign on an imperious note as they defeated defending champions West Indies by 34 runs. They then swatted aside Zimbabwe in the second game by five wickets before going down to Australia [by 162 runs] and West Indies [by 66 runs] in the following fixtures.

India, Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev during his iconic 175 [Image-Getty]
Coming into the match against Zimbabwe, India found themselves in dire straits at 5-17 when Dev played probably one of the most important innings in the history of ODI cricket to lift the team to an unimaginable 266. India went on to win the game by 31 runs, post which they defeated Australia by a margin of 118 to seal their spot in the semi-finals.England was expected to knock over India in the semi-finals but the hosts came in for a huge shock as an all-rounder performance from Mohinder Amarnath [2-27 & 46] and half-centuries from Sandeep Patil [61] and Yashpal Sharma [51 off 32 balls] paved way for a six-wicket win to set up a date with the mighty West Indies in the summit clash.Team India, however, were eventually bowled out for 183 and at the halfway mark, it looked like the West Indies will romp to their third World Cup title.

However, little did anyone realize that a miracle was about to ensue that a defiant Indian bowling attack bowled out the West Indies for a mere 140 to clinch their maiden world title.

Also Read- Team India’s Schedule For The 2nd Cycle Of World Test Championship [2021-2023]

Here’s how former and current Indian cricketers paid their tribute on the 38th anniversary of the World Cup win–

 

 

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.