India relives 1983 World Cup victory

Source :SIFY
Author :SIFY
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 25th, 2020, 18:20:54hrs
kapil 1983 world cup
  • June 25, 1983: A historic win for Kapil's boys & the iconic Lord's image

 It was on June 25, 1983 that Team India, under the leadership of Kapil Dev, defied all odds and won their first-ever World Cup trophy.

India had entered the World Cup with zero expectations and nobody really considered them as a title contender, considering the inexperience the team had of playing ODI cricket.

Before the tournament, the Indian team had just played 40 ODIs and had infact won only one match in the previous two editions of the prestigious event.

However, with nothing to lose, Kapil and his troops decided to give it their all. They started off their campaign in an emphatic manner, defeating two-time champions West Indies by 34 runs on June 9 at the Old Trafford, which later on became a good hunting ground for the Indian team.

1983 World Cup Points Table

Gaining confidence from that win, they went on to defeat Zimbabwe in their next game on June 11.

But their campaign suffered a jolt as they faced crushing defeats against Australia (June 13) and West Indies (June 15) in their next two games.

It seemed that the team would be out of the competition. However, the Indian team came back strongly and registered comfortable wins over Zimbabwe (June 18) and Australia (June 20) to make it to the semi-finals.

On June 22, the team surprised many as they defeated England by six wickets to make it to their maiden World Cup final.

India at 1983 World Cup

And on June 25, the underdogs whom the world had not even considered to be in the title race, surprised everyone at the Home of Cricket -- Lord's. They were bowled out for mere 183 and with West Indies having the likes of Vivian Richards and Clive Llyod, all thought it would be a cake walk for a team from the island nation.

However, with a 'nothing-to-lose' attitude and the self-belief that they carried after a spirited campaign throughout the tournament, the Indian boys came out with a brilliant bowling performance as they bamboozled the famed Windies batting line-up, bundling them out for 140 and winning the game by 43 runs.

Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath were the pick of the Indian bowlers as they picked three wickets each while Balwinder Sandhu scalped two. Kapil and Roger Binny also chipped in with a wicket each and contributed to one of India's most famous wins in cricketing history.

The image of Kapil lifting the World Cup trophy from the iconic Lord's balcony is still etched in the memories of cricket fans. It was a moment which told the cricketing world about the arrival of India on the big stage.

"It was the turning point for Indian cricket and for Indians. At a time when cricket was dominated by West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, and others, a total underdog Indians became the world champions," Kris Srikkanth, who was a part of the World Cup-winning team, recently said on Star Sports 1 Tamil show 'Winning the Cup - 1983'.

  • Kapil biggest match-winner India has ever produced, says Gavaskar

Batting legend Gavaskar has heaped praise on Kapil and spoke about their time together with the Indian cricket team. The legendary opener jogged down the memory lane and revealed an incident which, according to him, won him Kapil's respect.

"In my opinion, Kapil Dev is the biggest match-winner India has ever produced. This is so because he could win games both with his batting and bowling abilities," Gavaskar was quoted as saying by Jagran.com.

"I remember the first time I played against him was at Chennai's M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in the Wills Trophy in 1978. We had just returned from the tour of Australia and Kapil and another talented all-rounder Rajendra Jadeja started to bowl against Mumbai.

"Kapil was bowling well but was bowling from a bit wide of the crease, so I was able to leave the deliveries easily. When I went towards his end I asked him to bowl from a bit closer to the wicket. His teammates thought I was sledging him but he told them otherwise and then started to trouble the Mumbai batsmen following my suggestion," he added.

"This was the first instance when I met him and the fact that I helped him despite being on the opposite team, I think that stayed with him and he always respected me thereafter."

Kapil's finest moment in the Indian jersey came when he led the team to a historic World Cup title at the iconic Lord's in 1983. Gavaskar was also part of that legendary side that stunned then two-time defending champions West Indies.

Gavaskar revealed how few senior board members and few cricketers tried to cause problems between the two.

"Few members of the board and some players who had retired at the time joined hands with the media and tried to create differences between us," Gavaskar said.

"But we were always thinking about the betterment of the sport in the country and that is why we never let it bother us."

  • West Indies had best team but they weren't God: Madan Lal

Madan Lal, who was an integral part of the World Cup-winning Indian team in 1983, on Thursday jogged down the memory lane to recall one of the best wins, not just in the history of Indian cricket but world cricket as well.

"We won one match in 1975 and one in 1979 editions of the World Cup. So, we were underdogs going into 1983. That's why our victory in England was one of the biggest wins in Indian cricket and also in world cricket," Lal told IANS in an exclusive interview.

"We entered the World Cup without any pressure. People were thinking that it would be good enough for us if we win one or two games. But as it happens in life, if you put your best foot forward, things fall in place. That's what happened with us. Everyone in the team wanted to do well for the country."

"We had defeated West Indies in an ODI game in 1982. So, we knew we could defeat them. We knew in England, small targets can be defended and so, when we started our campaign and won the first match, it gave us a lot of confidence," said the 69-year-old.

One of the noticeable things about the 1983 World Cup was the gap between the matches. India had a gap of only a day in between matches and considering they were of 60 overs, fitness issues might have come into play.

However, Lal believes it was not the case. "There was no fitness issue. All the players in the team were extremely fit. We were one of the best fielding sides."

"A gap of one day was enough for us. It kept us in rythym, it kept us fresh. In England the weather is cold and that's why you don't feel that much tired. Our in between journeys were no longer than that of three or three and a half hours. So, fitness and fatigue were not an issue for us.

"In a country like India, you need a gap of at least two days because the weather is hot," he added.

One of the things which Lal feels went India's way at the World Cup was the ability of the Indian bowlers to swing the ball.

"In cricket you must know how to bowl depending on the conditions. England is a place where you must know the right length and most of our bowlers knew that. We were very good movers of the ball."

After winning first two group-stage matches, India lost the other two and many thought that the team would not be able to make it to the last four. However, the Indian team came back strongly and registered comfortable wins over Zimbabwe (June 18) and Australia (June 20) to make it to the semi-finals.

On June 22, the team surprised many as they defeated England by six wickets to make it to their maiden World Cup final.

"It was not impossible to defeat West Indies. They were not invincible. They were not God. No doubt, they were the best team but definitely not God," Lal said while talking about the summit clash where India defended a paltry target of 184 and registered their names in the history books.

"And that's why I say that our title win in 1983 was one of the biggest victories in world cricket because after that teams like Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan also went on to win the World Cup," the right-arm pacer, who played 39 Tests and 67 ODIs, added.

Lal picked 17 wickets in 8 matches he played in the tournament and played a pivotal role in India's title win. Asked about his own peformance, he said: "I was very happy with my performance. I picked up wickets at crucial junctures and in turn contributed towards the victory of the team. So, it was a great tournament for me."

"One thing we all should remember is that it was not a win of Kapil Dev only or of Mohinder Amarnath, it was the victory of Team India -- a result of the team effort," he added.

  • Kapil was brilliant throughout the tournament, says Vengsarkar

Former India batting great Dilip Vengsarkar hailed India's 1983 World Cup win as a defining moment for the sport in the country, saying the nation never had to look back since that day in the sport which is now a religion in this part of the world.

"It's one of the greatest things to have happened for Indian cricket," Vengsarkar told IANS on Thursday.

Part of India's 15-member World Cup winning squad, Vengsarkar lauded skipper Kapil's virtuoso efforts throughout the tournament.

Kapil scored 303 runs at an average of 60.60 including the epochal 175 not out against Zimbabwe, regarded as one of the greatest ODI innings of all time, and also scalped 12 wickets.

"Indian cricket never looked down after that. It always looked up. I remember Kapil Dev was so good and he was the Man of the Tournament almost.

"We defied all odds to win against the mighty West Indies. Kapil was brilliant throughout the tournament," added Vengsarkar.

The image of Kapil lifting the World Cup trophy from the iconic Lord's balcony is still etched in the memories of cricket fans. It was a moment which told the cricketing world about the arrival of India on the big stage.

  • Kapil's catch of Richards was the turning point: Kirti Azad

Given no chance at the third-ever World Cup, India created history by getting the better of then two-time champions West Indies at the iconic Lord's, 37 years ago. Such was the magnitude of the victory that players were actually pinching themselves inside the dressing room after getting their hands on the famous trophy.

"How can I explain the euphoria? How can you explain that feeling that you have become the world champions in front of thousands of Indians at Lord's? We were just waving at them from the dressing room," former India cricketer and member of the 1983 World Cup winning team Kirti Azad told IANS.

"I just sat down on my seat and pinched myself a few times that whether I was dreaming or it really was true. Then I joined in the celebrations and we took it on from there."

According to Azad, lifting the trophy was a defining moment in Indian cricket history. 'Kapil's Devils', as they are famously known as, beat Clive Lloyd's team by 43 runs to get their hands on the World Cup for the first time ever.

"Any person who goes to any field he wants to excel and wants to earn name for his country. That was obviously the defining moment of our careers. I think I will take this euphoria, this pride with me to the cremation ground," Azad stated.

"This was something which seem just like yesterday. It brought India on the world map and it became a superpower. It was a stepping stone for many youngsters.

"It is something that can't be expressed in words and is something that we are too emotionally attached... all 15 of us."

West Indies stood between India and history after they got the better of hosts England in the semi-final. According to Azad, the West Indies team of that era was recognised by the players as best ever. So how did India manage to get the better of them? The answer, as per Azad, lies in Kapil's words.

"The West Indies team was unconquerable. It had won the first two editions of the World Cup. Many cricketers have accepted that that West Indies team were the best ever," Azad said.

"One thing that Kapil said was 'let's go... play our best cricket... let's not think about winning or losing. If we play well we will give the people worth their money'.

"We were never given a chance. There were eight teams and we were second from the bottom. When we won our first game we were a little surprised but were definitely on a high at that time."

Azad also recollected what the mood was like inside the dressing room after West Indies had restricted India to just 183 in the final. None of the Indian batsmen got going against the quality West Indies attack as Krishnamachari Srikkanth top-scored with 38.

"We all knew that this total wasn't enough. You look at that strong West Indian side so Kapil said it may not have been a winning total but let's fight... it's a fighting total. We have got those runs and they have to score those runs. So let's fight for every run that is there on the board," Azad said.

"That is how that happened. And then there was Kapil's catch of Viv Richards and that was the turning point. Then wickets fell and we put pressure on the batsmen. We knew if we put pressure on the West Indian batsmen they could succumb to it."

  • Thought it was a big deal making it to finals itself: Srikkanth

Srikkanth, who was part of the World Cup-winning squad of 1983, believes there was no pressure on the team going into the tournament as they were underdogs and for them it was a scenario of nothing to lose and everything to gain.

37 years ago on this very day, India stunned two-time champions West Indies to win their first-ever World Cup title at the iconic Lord's.

"I remember on the eve of the finals there were all the top officials from the board, the joint secretary and everyone and there was a small meeting. They said don't worry about the finals tomorrow, you've come so far that's itself fantastic. And whether tomorrow you win the match or not, they announced a 25,000 rupees bonus for all of us. And we were all thrilled to hear that," Srikkanth said while speaking on Star Sports.

"And honestly, we did not feel that much pressure. It was everything to gain and nothing to lose scenario. Because favourites were West Indies, they were '75 & '79 champions and rockstar team, dominating world cricket, so we thought it was a big deal making it to the finals itself," he added.

The 60-year-old also talked about the atmosphere in the Indian dressing room before they went out to defend their total of 183 and how skipper Kapil Dev's pep talk inspired the team.

"With the batting line-up that West Indian had and looking at 183, we thought we had no scope at all. But Kapil Dev said one thing and he didn't say we can win but he said -- look guys we have got out for 183 and we should give resistance and not give away the match so easily," the veteran of 43 Tests and 146 ODIs said.

Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath were the pick of the Indian bowlers as they picked three wickets each while Balwinder Sandhu scalped two. Kapil and Roger Binny also chipped in with a wicket each and contributed to one of India's most famous wins in cricketing history.

"It was the turning point for Indian cricket and for Indians in general. At a time when cricket was dominated by West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and others, a total underdog Indians became the world champions. It is a feeling that is hard to express, it's a different experience. But as an Indian, we felt proud," Srikkanth said.

  • '1983 WC win, a 'watershed' moment in Indian cricket history'

Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif labelled the 1983 World Cup win as a watershed moment in the Indian cricket history.

Kaif tweeted: "June 25, 1983: The iconic image of Kapil Dev holding the World Cup Trophy at Lord's is a watershed moment in Indian cricket history. It changed cricket in India. This win inspired the next generation to achieve the impossible and dream BIG".

After the 1983 win, cricket got a fillip in the country, elevating the sport to religion for fans with every child wanting to become a cricketer.

  • '1983 World Cup victory changed cricketing landscape in India'

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin called the 1983 World Cup win as the 'landscape' changing moment for the game of cricket in the country.

"Today 37 years ago, changed the cricketing landscape in India. Thank you @therealkapildev and team for making the game a career for many of us today. Deeply indebted," Ashwin tweeted.

 With inputs from agencies