1983 and 2011. Lords and Wankhede. Kapil Dev and M.S Dhoni. Two instances and 28 years apart, these two special world cup winning achievements will be etched in the memories of Indian fans forever.
As Kapil Dev’s class of ‘83 were the overwhelming underdogs in the finals against the mighty West Indies, M.S Dhoni’s men in blue were the favourites to win the World Cup in their own backyard in 2011. The memory of Mohinder Amarnath getting Michael Holding out, and Dhoni smashing Kulasekara for a six still give us goosebumps.
As a fan, we wonder what would happen if the Indian World Cup winning squad of 1983 took on the winning squad of 2011. Kapil Dev vs Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Of course, the matchup would not be physically possible in today’s world for obvious reasons, but we have come up with a scenario of what would have happened if the two sides took on each other in their prime.
Note: This is a work of fiction and the views should not be taken literally.
Class of 1983 vs 2011’s Men in Blue
Venue: As two historic teams took on each other, it makes sense that this mouth-watering clash took place in India’s most historic cricket ground – Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Class of 1983: Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikkanth, Mohinder Amarnath, Yashpal Sharma, Sandeep Patil, Kapil Dev(C), Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Madan Lal, Syed Kirmani(wk), Balwinder Sandhu
2011’s Men in Blue: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, M.S Dhoni(C & wk), Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh
Toss: MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl first
Pre Match Press Conference:
Kapil Dev seemed extremely confident that his boys would get the job done. When asked about how he would combat the batting prowess of the Men in Blue, he was quick in saying that his bowlers have what it takes to get rid of the opposition batsmen, as they had proved time and again.
M.S Dhoni was his usual calm self as he tackled all the questions posed by the journalists without breaking a sweat. He was confident that their batsmen would be able to tackle the opposition’s bowling with ease. He also spoke about how Zaheer Khan is working on a tactic to get rid off star batsmen Sunil Gavaskar early in the innings.
The packed Eden Gardens could not have asked for a better match as the 66000 fans got their money worth. In an enthralling encounter between the two sides, it was the 2011’s Men in Blue which came out on top. The quality on display was top notch as the players excelled in all three areas of the game. A superb bowling spell by Roger Binny went in vain as Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh proved to be the difference between the two sides. It was their match-winning partnership which took the Men in Blue home.
After being put into bat by Dhoni, Kapil Dev’s men got off to a flier as Kris Srikkanth smashed Munaf Patel in the very first over for 15 runs. As Srikkanth continued to take the attack to the opposition bowlers, Gavaskar was playing the role of a second fiddle and was happy to give the strike to his partner. After putting on an 80 run stand in the opening 10 overs, the Men in Blue finally got a breakthrough as Srikkanth scooped one to long on.
Dhoni’s men clawed their way back into the game after Srikkanth’s wicket as Mohinder Amarnath and Yashpal Sharma got out without troubling the scorers too much. From 80-1 in 10 overs, the Class of ‘83 were in a spot of bother at 92-3 in 18 overs. Kapil decided to come into bat before Sandeep Patil and the decision paid off as he was quick in finding his feet. He scored runs at a brisk pace as Gavaskar continued to take his time. After putting on 101 for the 5th wicket, Zaheer Khan finally got rid of Gavaskar who managed to score 60 off 93 balls.
With the score at 193-4 in 40 overs, Kapil knew that they would have to finish on a high note to have a chance against the strong batting line up of the opposition. As Patil walked in to bat, the duo wasted no time and went on a rampant streak as they put on 80 runs off 48 balls, with Kapil Dev scoring a magnificent century. He was dismissed in the penultimate over by a Sreesanth yorker, but it was a little too late as the damage had already been done. The Class of 1983 finished off with a score of 294-7 in their allotted 50 overs. Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the bowlers with a spell of 3-45 in his 10 overs. Munaf Patel had a day to forget as he was smashed for 88 in his 9 overs.
As the Men in Blue came out to bat, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar got them off to a brisk start as they put on 40 in the first 7 overs. After seeing that the opposition batsmen were able to tackle the medium pacers well, Roger Binny was introduced into the attack in the 8th over, and it paid dividends as he produced a magical first over by dismissing the dangerous Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Soon after that, a stunning catch by Kapil Dev led to the dismissal of Tendulkar who managed to score 36 runs off 40 deliveries. After a good start, Dhoni’s men soon found themselves in deep trouble at 68-3 in 15 overs.
It was up to the duo of Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh to lead the recovery. And so they did. After starting out slowly, both Yuvraj and Kohli went on the prowl and took on the opposition bowlers by hitting them all around the park. They produced a match saving partnership of 154 in 160 balls, after which Yuvraj was dismissed by Binny.
With 73 required off 50 balls, Kohli continued to attack the bowlers, and along with his captain, took India closer to victory. With 18 required off the final two overs, Sandhu got rid of Kohli, who looked to smash him over square leg.
It was all down to the final over as 10 runs were required with Suresh Raina on strike. After missing the first ball, Raina took a single and gave strike to Dhoni. With 9 runs required off 4 balls, Dhoni did not show any sign of nerves by calmly finding the gap to hit a four off the 3rd ball.
5 runs were required off the final 3 deliveries. As one captain ran in to bowl to the other, Dhoni did what he does best by smashing a full-length delivery for a six over long-off. The Men in Blue had beaten the Class of ‘83 by 5 wickets and were on top of the world.
Virat was adjudged man of the match for his knock of 108 off 104 balls.
Brief Scores: 2011’s Men in Blue 296-5 (Kohli 108, Yuvraj 72, R Binny 3-40) defeat The Class of 1983 294-7 (K Dev 102, S Gavaskar 63, H Singh 3-45) by 5 wickets.