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  5. Independence Day 2022: Kapil Dev, the man who instilled belief in India, relive 1983

Independence Day 2022: Kapil Dev, the man who instilled belief in India, relive 1983

Independence Day 2022: A team that was initially denied entry into legendary Lord's at the start of the tournament stood at the legendary balcony with the World Cup in their hands sending a message that dreams do come true only if you have the nerves to chase them.

Jishu Bhattacharya Written By: Jishu Bhattacharya @bh0592 New Delhi Updated on: August 10, 2022 10:38 IST

Highlights

  • Kapil's 175 was the highest score by any batsman in 1983
  • Mohinder Amarnath was Kapil Dev's deputy for the tournament
  • This was India's maiden World Cup victory

Independence Day 2022: Belief, that is the word, the word that summarizes former India captain Kapil Dev and his approach of playing the game of cricket. Today the entire nation celebrates the events that unfolded at Lord's Cricket Ground on June 25, 1983. Very rarely does someone say that India was considered an underdog and was hardly given any chances before the start of the 1983 World Cup. The viewpoint was certainly justified as India had won just one match in the previous editions of the Prudential Cup that was played in 1975 and 1979 and that too against a team named East Africa which isn't even a country. In a dramatic turnaround, just before the 1983 World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India decided to hand over the reins of the Indian team to a young Kapil Dev who was known for his lightning-fast bowling and power-packed hitting.

India Tv - Kapil dev, 1983, Independence day

Image Source : GETTY IMAGESCrowd barges in after India clinch their maiden World Cup trophy

To India's surprise, they were in the same group as Australia and West Indies. Two teams who were touted as the favorites to clinch the Prudential Cup. Team West Indies were extremely dominant in that era, contrary to what they are now, and were the defending champions. India was not even expected to make it to the semi-finals of the 1983 edition and hence was denied both matches and entry to the legendary Lord's stadium. First up India had to face the West Indies and what they did on the field stunned the entire world. India beat the defending champions and this instigated a certain belief in them that they can compete, they can lock horns with the best in the world, and snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. 

India's campaign was smoothly on track till the time they faced Zimbabwe at Turnbridge Wells, a match that not only changed the game but also altered how it was meant to be played. India won the toss and decided to bat first. With the little master Sunil Gavaskar completely out of touch for the entire tournament, India was left reeling on 9 runs for the loss of 4 wickets which included the likes of Sandeep Patil, Kris Srikkanth, and vice-captain Mohinder Amarnath. Skipper Kapil Dev walked out when things were done and dusted for team India and what transpired next is a tale that is meant for generations to come.

India Tv - Kapil Dev, Independence day, 1983

Image Source : GETTY IMAGESKapil Dev at Turnbridge Wells in the 1983 World Cup match against Zimbabwe

Kapil in a game-altering inning scored 175 runs off 138 balls with 16 fours and 6 sixes to his name. The skipper's exploits propelled India's score to a decent 266 runs which Zimbabwe failed to chase eventually. Sunil Gavaskar often speaks about this innings and has been very vocal about how highly he rates it. This inning was a testament to Kapil's belief, the statement of his intent, and how he was looking at the World Cup.

Taking the world by storm, India qualified for the finals of the Prudential Cup, where they were set to clash against the strongest team of the tournament, the defending champion, the mighty West Indies. "Team, if this is not a winning total it is a fighting total", said skipper Kapil Dev after India failed to cross the 200-run mark in the all-important final. When they were walking onto the field, little did they know that they are just hours away from scripting victory. India kept on bowling tight lines and the Caribbean batters kept on falling to their trap till the time great Viv Richards walked in. As legends have it, Richards raced off to a quickfire 33 off 28 deliveries. With a very skeptical mindset, Kapil handed over the ball to Madan Lal. The bowler banged in a short one, Viv mistimed and Kapil ran backward to grab one of the greatest catches of all time.

This was not just a catch, this was the Prudential Cup aka the World Cup in India's kitty. The West Indies couldn't recover from this and they lost their titles of world champions to team India, a team that had turned the world upside down with its miraculous feat.

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