3 defining moments for India in their victorious 1983 World Cup campaign

Kapil Dev with the World Cup trophy
Kapil Dev with the World Cup trophy
Yash Mittal

June 25, 1983, will forever be edged in the hearts of the Indian Cricket fans. it was a day when Kapil's Devils, the name that later became synonymous with the 1983 team, scripted a memorable heist which saw them defeat the West Indies at the Mecca of Cricket to be crowned World Champions.

It was a moment that changed Indian cricket forever. A moment that gave an assurance to a nation as a whole that they could compete at the World stage. A moment that gave the budding cricketers of that era and the years that ensued to take up cricket and dream of representing their country on the world stage.

Today, as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of India's 1983 World Cup win, let us revisit some of the defining moments of their victorious campaign.

Here's a compilation of some of the best moments:-

#3 Beating defending champions West Indies in the league stage

A defining moment in India's 1983 campaign.
A defining moment in India's 1983 campaign.

Having won just a solitary game in the previous two editions of the World Cup, India came into the league stage game of the 1983 World Cup against the reigning World Champions as massive underdogs.

In a game spread over two days at the iconic Old Trafford ground at Manchester, India batted first and was reduced to 3-76 with Gavaskar (19), Srikkanth (14), and Mohinder Amarnath (21) falling cheaply against the likes of Holding (2-32) and Garner (1-49). But middle-order batsman Yashpal Sharma (89) held his own against the belligerent Caribbean attack, and thanks to handy contributions from Patil (36), Roger Binny (27) and Madan Lal's 22-ball-21, helped the Indians post a competitive 8-262 in 60 overs.

Defending 263, India's bowlers bowled with admirable tenacity as the duo of Roger Binny (3-48) and Ravi Shastri (3-26) denied the World Champions and eventually bowled them out for 228 in 54.1 overs.

The shock win over the defending champions gave a much-needed fillip to India's 1983 campaign.


#2 Kapil Dev's death-defying 175 against Zimbabwe

Kapil Dev during his stupendous 175 against Zimbabwe.
Kapil Dev during his stupendous 175 against Zimbabwe.

Much has been talked and written about how Kapil Dev's team managed to defy the 66-1 odds that were stacked against them in the 1983 World Cup finals against the mighty West Indies.

But if you dig deep into that World Cup, India wouldn't have been there in the first place had it not for their captain's swashbuckling counter-attack in a league match against Zimbabwe. Tunbridge Wells was a relatively small ground, but it was packed to the core that day when India took on Zimbabwe.

Batting first, Peter Rawson and Kevin Curran bowled like a dream, moving the ball sharply off the seam, and reduced India to 5-17 with the likes of Gavaskar (0), Srikkanth (0), Amarnath (5) and Sandeep Patil (1) all back in the hut.

Dev formed a 60 run partnership with Roger Binny (22), but at 6-77, India still looked on tenterhooks, with Dev having the bowlers for a company.

Dev took full advantage of the short boundary and some insipid captaincy by Duncan Fletcher who took off Rawson and Curran from the attack and instead brought himself to the attack.

This enabled Dev to settle in his innings as he unleashed a breathtaking assault on the Zimbabwean bowlers.

Dev en-route to 175 not out, that included 16 fours and six sixes, Dev formed an unbeaten 126-run-partnership with Kirmani, a record that still exits for the ninth-wicket-partnership. Kapil's 175 ensured India reached a respectable 8-266 in 60 overs to set-up a 31-run win for the Indians.

It is a pity that probably one of the greatest innings ODI innings ever played considering the situation, it came in, was not broadcasted thanks to a strike from BBC.

#1 Kapil Dev's stunning backward-running catch of Vivian Richards in the World Cup Final

The greatest running catch in history.
The greatest running catch in history.

Even though India had qualified for the 1983 World Cup finals, they still entered the contest as massive underdogs against the two-time champions, West Indies.

India came into the game with the odds (66/1) heavily stacked against them, and it accentuated to preposterous levels when they were bowled out for a poultry 183 in 54.4 overs on a greenish Lord's pitch.

Chasing a meager 184, the West Indies, even after losing Greenidge for 1, looked primed for their third successive World title when Vivian Richards (33 off 28 balls, 4s: 7) flayed the Indian bowlers, especially Madan Lal to all corners of the Lords Cricket Ground. In an inspired move, which saw Madan Lall request Kapil for one more over against the rampaging Richards.

Lal pitched the ball short-of-a-length, to which Richards obliged with a pull over deep mid-wicket, but little had he realized that the Indian captained had come running all the way from short mid-wicket to complete an outstanding running catch to send Richards packing. The catch from Dev triggered a collapse for the Windies and they were eventually bowled out for 140 in the 52nd over to hand India the World Cup.

Edited by Aadya Sharma


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