World Cup 1983|World Cup of 1983
India had win in only one of their previous six World Cup matches. And that solitary victory came against East Africa.
India’s past records:-
India didn’t have a great overall one-day record either, having won only 12 out of its 40 matches. In terms of win-loss ratio, among the test playing nations, India was only ahead of Sri Lanka, a team which had attained Test status only a year earlier.
It was little wonder that the bookmakers had placed India at odds as long as 66-1 to lift the World Cup of 1983. However, there were a few positives.
Shortly after Kapil Dev had taken over as captain, India recorded a rare victory against the mighty West Indies in Berbice And they repeated the trick in their opening game of 1983 World Cup , beating the holders West Indies by 34 runs at Old Trafford.
Indias journey to the final:-
Apart from the West Indies, the sides drawn alongside India in Group B were Australia and Zimbabwe. India went on to suffer consecutive defeats, first to Australia and then to the West Indies, and that set up a key clash against Zimbabwe at Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Zimbabwe had already handed Australia a shock defeat and were on course to do the same to India. At one point, India were struggling at 17 runs for the loss of 5 wickets, and their World Cup hopes were hanging by a thread.
Importance of Kapil Dev:-
It was then that Kapil Dev pulled off one of the greatest rescue acts in cricket history by scoring an unbeaten 175 off just 138 balls with 6 sixes and 16 fours.
Although Dev’s innings was never broadcast due to a BBC strike, it is etched in Indian cricketing folklore and is widely considered as the tipping point for Indian cricket.
Semi final of World Cup 1983 :-
Gaining momentum, India defeated England in the semi-final, a game in which England were overwhelming favourites with the bookmakers at 1/50.
The England team of David Gower, Ian Botham and Bob Willis were booked for 213 which India chased down with a little more than 5 overs to spare.
Mohinder Amarnath picked up the man of the match award having scored 46 runs and taken 2 wickets for an economical 27 runs in 12 overs.
Indias win against mighty West Indies:-
India met West Indies in the final at Lords. It is said that many Indian households turned off their televisions and radio sets midway through the match. India had been skittled out for just 183 and most expected a runaway victory for the West Indies.
Only Kris Srikanth and Mohinder Amarnath had put up any significant resistance as a pace attack led by Andy Roberts and Malcolm Marshall ripped through the Indian batsmen.
At the break however, Kapil was typically defiant. “We may not have a winning total but we have a fighting one,” he said.
By the time West Indies reached a total of fifty, India had claimed two wickets. But with Clive Lloyd at the crease and Viv Richards in typically belligerent mood, it still looked like West Indies’ game.
But soon Richards fell, mistiming a short ball towards the mid-wicket region where Kapil, running backwards, took a stunning catch that turned the course of the match.
Wickets fell in a heap after that as the defending champions were undone by some clever bowling by Kapil, Madan Lal, Roger Binny and Amarnath, who again ended up as man of the match for his 26 runs and three wickets.
Binny ended up as the leading wicket taker of the tournament with 18 wickets. Kapil Dev and his team became national heroes overnight.
The win kindled Indias romance with one-day cricket and, four years later, India co-hosted the World Cup with Pakistan, the first time the tournament was hosted away from England.