#2 Kapil Dev (175* v Zimbabwe, World Cup, 1983)
The 1983 World Cup was Kapil Dev’s tournament, not just as player but also as captain. Regarded as one of the most iconic innings by an Indian captain, Kapil Dev’s 175 is a fond memory for every Indian fan fortunate enough to have been around at the time when he played this gem of an innings.
Courtesy of the knock, he made sure that India progressed to subsequent rounds in the tournament, a tournament which they eventually ended up winning. It was most certainly curtains for India if they had lost against Zimbabwe. And it looked that way when India’s top 5 were back in the hut with only 17 on the board, batting first at Tunbridge Wells.
Kapil Dev was joined by Roger Binny at the middle, and they started the rebuilding process. Kapil, who had never got an ODI hundred earlier, decided this to be the day when he would do so, and what a hundred it was. The Indian innings, which was in danger of being wrapped up early at one point, lasted the full 60 overs, with the Indians putting up 266 for the Zimbabweans to chase.
Although Binny and then Ravi Shastri had fallen in quick succession when the score was less than a 100, Kapil continued playing his shots regardless of who was there at the other end, and his approach paid off massively.
It could be categorized as the most single-handed batting effort ever, with the second highest scorer being No. 10 batsman Syed Kirmani, who scored 24. He was by no means a slouch with the bat, but with an ODI batting average of below 25, this big hundred was somewhat of a surprise to everyone.
This, after all, would be the only ODI hundred he would ever score. However, he succeeded in ensuring that it was a special one and would be remembered and recounted for ages to come.Published 12 Nov 2014, 10:25 IST