New Delhi: It was exactly 35 years ago on this very day when an underdog Indian team led by Kapil Dev scripted history by stunning a star-studded West Indies in the final to lift the cricket World Cup in 1983 at the iconic Lord’s.
India’s route to the final saw them comfortably make it through Group B with four wins from six games, before seeing off hosts England at Old Trafford in the semi-final.
They came up against the Windies in the final, who were on the hunt for a hat-trick of World Cup titles, but were to be shocked by 43 runs by a determined Indian bowling line-up.
To mark the 35th year of India’s greatest cricketing triumph at the time, and prepare for a possible repeat of the feat at the same venue in the 2019 ICC World Cup, let’s relive the moments that led to India’s famous triumph.
While the entire team contributed handsomely to push India to the final, it was the skipper Kapil Dev’s remarkable unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe that saved the team from an early exit.
Reduced to 9/4, then 17/5 on a seaming pitch, Kapil single-handedly chased the ghosts of a defeat and ouster from the tournament with not only the highest World Cup score at the time, but was also a record score in one-day international cricket.
Kapil provided a one-man resistance with an unbeaten 175 from 138 balls, including 16 fours and six sixes, helping India survive the blues.
Then lets fast forward to the final…batting first, India were bowled out for 183 in 54.5 overs, with Kris Srikkanth top-scoring for them with 38.
Considering the talent in the Windies’ ranks, the total looked fairly chaseable but there came the twist in the tale.
Well no one expected India’s disregarded pace bowlers to use the pace-friendly conditions to such great use which Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal did by sharing six wickets between them to bowl out the mighty West Indies for 140.
But it was again Kapil Dev who stole the limelight in the midst of an inspired bowling effort, which saw the legendary all-rounder take a catch running back 20-25 yards to dismiss a rampaging Viv Richards when everything, except hope, seemed lost.
Well that happened out of the blue. Madan Lal bowled one short, Richards went for the pull and the ball headed towards the leg side boundary for what everyone thought would be a six except for Kapil who latched on to it comfortably.
That one moment resulted in a collapse of the famed Windies line-up which saw them slipping from 57/2 to 76/6, giving India a sniffing chance to script cricketing history.
Even then, the West Indian tail wagged a bit but India held their nerves and eventually lifted the Cup, that heralded a new dawn in Indian cricket.
India repeated the feat at home in 2011. The question is: Can they do a treble in 2019.