Combined Indian XI with players from two World Cup winning teams
Mohinder Amarnath to Holding. Wrapped on the pads. That is out. It is all over this time. Lost his nerve, in the end, is Michael Holding. India are the World champions.
India one hit away from winning the World Cup. Kulasekara to Dhoni. Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the World Cup after 28 years. The party begins in the dressing room. It is the Indian captain who was absolutely magnificent on the night of the final.
Those two emotional scenes were 28 years apart. Both etched in the memory of every Indian fan forever. While India winning the World Cup in 1983 was the mother of all upsets, the same achievement after 28 years on home ground was not totally unexpected.
In this article, an exciting attempt is made to select 11 players out of the 22 who played those two World cups. It is an extremely difficult job to select 11 players from a pool of 22 talented cricketers who brought a lot of laurels to the nation.
Hence the following hypothesis has been made in selecting the best playing XI.
1. In view of the World Cup in England in 2019, this team has been chosen keeping in mind the English conditions.
2. The performances of the players in those two World Cups, especially the performance in the semi-finals and finals, has been the criteria for the selection.
3. The current stature and the reputation of the players are not taken into account in the selection.
4. In order to give equal weight, 5 players from the 1983 World Cup winning team and 6 players from the Dhoni-led team have been selected. The twelfth man is from Kapil’s devils.
#1. Krishnamachari Srikkanth
Kris Srikkanth had been the pioneer innovator in going for the lofted shots over the top in the first powerplay. Before Srikkanth arrived on the scene, the openers used to approach the first 10 overs of a one day match just like a Test match. Srikkanth changed those dynamics with his daredevil approach to bating.
Srikkanth's naturally aggressive intent helped him to make the change quite easily. On the lines of Srikkanth, so many pinch-hitters at the top arrived on the one day scene. Mark Greatbatch, Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana to name a few.
Though Srikkanth was not in the best of forms in the World Cup 1983, he contributed in the crucial semi-final and the final. In the semi-final, Srikkanth added 46 runs with Sunil Gavaskar. In the all-important final, Srikkanth was the highest scorer from either team when he scored 38 with 7 fours and a huge six off Andy Roberts.
Roberts dug one in short and Srikkanth pulled him down the pavilion for four. The next ball was a fast bouncer from Roberts and Srikkanth hooked it for a six. However, Srikkanth’s spectacular shot was a square drive he played on his knees off Joel Garner. When Srikkanth got out on 38 runs, no one would have thought that would be the highest score of the final.
For his aggressive instincts at the top, Srikkanth would be the ideal opener for the combined playing XI.