Former Indian cricketer Roger Binny opened up about his experiences as part of the team that lifted the 1983 World Cup in England. The former all-rounder stated that the inspiring words of captain Kapil Dev and the great Sunil Gavaskar raised the hopes of the team during the final of the tournament.
In an exclusive interview with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Cricket's Facebook page, Roger Binny narrated the events that transpired ahead of one of the greatest underdog victories of all time.
When asked about his personal performances in the tournament, where he finished as the leading wicket-taker, Roger Binny said that beating West Indies early on in the tournament greatly lifted the Indian team.
"I really didn't think I'd take 18 wickets or that we'd win the World Cup. For me it was a comeback and there's no better place for me than England. It all started with a game against West Indies - that was the first time they had lost a game in a World Cup. Beating them lifted the spirit of the team," he said.
The Karnataka man also claimed that India's win over England in the semi-final of the tournament set the tone for their heroic final performance, and that their determination was evident on the field.
"We didn't have very good fielders but if you saw them fielding! Not many runs were scored by Sunil but he was a real asset in the field. We crushed England, who were tipped by their press to crush us. They said 'India is just another team'. After that game we started to believe in ourselves," Roger Binny added.
If we had scored 270 instead of 183, West Indies may have crushed us: Roger Binny
Roger Binny further elaborated on the mood in the dressing room after being bowled out for 183 in the final against West Indies. He said that since ODIs were then 60 overs per side, the Indian team had to wait in the dressing room for the tea break to get over.
"It was one of the most disappointing mornings for us, we were looking to post 220+. 240 was a winning score but when we got out for 183, we couldn't believe it. We had to wait for 40 minutes for the overs we didn't play, sitting in the dressing room and brooding. Nobody was talking," Roger Binny said.
The former Indian selector mentioned that the senior players in the team and the low score on the board motivated the players to put up a fight.
"Suddenly, Kapil Dev's voice came on and he said, 'Forget it, let's go and bowl them out'. His words and Sunil's words raised the tempo in the dressing room. A small score makes you fight harder. If we had scored 270, maybe they would've crushed us," he added.
After entering the tournament as an unfancied side, India went on to register famous victories against West Indies, Australia and England in their road to the final.
Coming up against the fearsome West Indies again, Kapil Dev's team was bowled out for just 183 in the first innings of the final but an inspired bowling and fielding performance resulted in a famous 43-run victory.
Mohinder Amarnath was adjudged the Man of the Final for his all-round display, while Roger Binny finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 18 scalps to his name.
Published 01 Aug 2020, 11:51 IST