Indian Cricket has seen a lot of ups and downs; like every journey it had some amazing moments that will be cherished forever. Here at The SportsRush we introduce to you a series of articles, ‘THE BIG MOMENTS’ where you get to re-live the 10 big moments of Indian cricket. This article is about the famous 1983 World Cup where India announced itself to the world.
Imagine Zimbabwe winning World Cup 2015. Or rather imagine Zimbabwe beating Australia in the final to do so! No disregard to any team, but you cannot, right? Well that was the scenario when India defeated the mighty West Indian team in the 1983 World Cup final to clinch the cup. It really was out of the blues. Fans had no expectations from the team; anyways they were few in number. It is hard to imagine in today’s scenario of cricket. There were no Sachin or Virat. Even Kapil Dev’s name emerged after the World Cup.
Known as the Prudential World Cup, it was the 3rd edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament with 8 countries competing for the ultimate glory. England and Wales hosted the tournament between 9 June and 25 June 1983 with a total of 27 matches being played. It was still the era of traditional white clothing and 60 over per side matches.
Not just India defeating the West Indies but there were other upsets as well. Zimbabwe also managed to beat Australia during the group stages. The first round of matches was on double round robin basis in which two groups of four teams each were formed. After the first round, top two teams from each group went on to play the knock out round.
The stage was set for either the favourites West Indies or the England to win the World Cup. But what eventually turned out was beyond anyone’s expectations. It turned out to be the defining moment in Indian Cricket.
In the semi-final, India was facing England, who won the toss and elected to bat. The English batting looked out of touch that day and some great bowling coupled with below-par batting performances restricted the total to 213 in 60 overs.
Kapil Dev took 3 wickets while Mohinder Amarnath and Roger Binny took 2 wickets each. From the batting department, Sandeep Patil and Yashpal Sharma made fifties and took India home in 54.4 overs with 6 wickets in hand. The victory over previous edition’s runners-up was a huge boost to India’s campaign. Mohinder Amarnath became the man of the match for his innings of 46* coupled with two wickets.
The other semi-final saw West Indies defeating Pakistan in a more than convincing fashion. West Indies chased the target of 196 runs set by the opponents in 48.4 overs with 8 wickets in hand. The man of the match performance came from the great Viv Richards who scored 80 runs to lead his team to victory. So it boiled down to the underdogs India versus the mighty West Indies.
India lost the toss and was invited to bat against the ruthless bowling line-up of the West Indies. The likes of Roberts, Marshall, Joel Garner and Michael Holding tore the Indian batting apart while only Mohinder Amarnath and Krishnamachari Srikkanth showed some resistance and India could reach a total of 183; Kapil Dev while addressing his team said, “team if this is not a winning total it’s definitely a fighting total”.
What happened in the second innings is history. Some owe it to the over-confidence of the West Indian team but it was definitely the skill; the skill that Indian bowlers demonstrated that day. It turned out to be the biggest upset ever. Amarnath was once again the man of the hour and match. He scored a crucial 26 runs while having figures of 3-12(7 overs).
What next? Who can forget the smile on Kapil Dev’s face as he received the trophy? It was the smile of a man who just completed the mission of his life. May be those eleven players did not realize it at that moment but whatever good has happened to Indian Cricket is because of that one day, that one match.
25th June, 1983.