Sunil Gavaskar has recently asked why we Indians, though electrified by Glenn Maxwell’s fastest World Cup century ~ off 40 balls in Delhi the other day against the Netherlands ~ should refrain from any comparison with Kapil Dev’s magic 175 not out in 1983 at Tunbridge Wells against Zimbabwe, which too had turned things sensationally around.
For legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, the unique thing about his 1983 World Cup-winning team was the perfect balance in the squad that went on to stun everybody and established India as ‘world-beaters’.
The team known as ‘Kapil’s Devils’ could bat till No. 11, had 7-8 bowling options, good fielders like Kapil Dev, who pulled off a couple of sensational catches to help the team extricate itself from difficult situations.
The team also had a unique blend in that while it had seven mature and serious guys and seven pranksters — the group comprising the likes of Ravi Shastri, Kirti Azad, Sandeep Patil.
“It was a great blend — those ‘bad ones’ were as important as the good ones. There were mature and seasoned players as well as some youngsters in the team. Everybody played a role in some match or other. There were some who were equally good but could make the squad. But that’s how life is,” Kapil Dev said on Saturday here at the launch of ‘The 1983 World Cup Opus’, a coffee table book to commemorate India’s first World Cup triumph.
“The good guys played in the day, while the bad ones played in the night too,” said Balwinder Singh Sandhu with Shastri, Kirti Azad and others nodding their heads.
Kapil said they did not plan to fill the team with all-rounders. It just happened. The nucleus of the team was set in the previous 2-3 years while there was discussion on 3-4 spots — whether they should have more youngsters
India defeated the West Indies by 43 runs in the final, defending a score of 183. India has since won the ODI World Cup in 2011 at home, beating Sri Lanka in the final. But the 1983 triumph remains historic as it not only boosted the growth of cricket in the country, making it the biggest market in the world but also gave Indians the confidence that they can be world-beaters, inspiring generations.
On Saturday on the occasion of the coffee book launch, members of 1983 World Cup-winning team — Kapil Dev, K Srikkanth, Mohinder Amarnath, Kirti Azad, Sandeep Patil, Dilip Vengsarkar, Syed Kirmani, Madan Lal, Roger Binny, BS Sandhu and manager PR Man Singh with Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar joining virtually, remembered some known and some unknown aspects of their triumph.
Some of these aspects have been included in The 1983 World Cup Opus, the coffee table book brought out by publishers Opus India and sponsored by fintech company Payments.
Shastri, currently in England, promised to take the coffee table book to Lord’s later in the day, to the groups and the balcony from which he watched the match as he was not in the playing XI.
On the occasion, the team members and other stakeholders remembered and paid tribute to Yashpal Sharma, who passed away last year.
(Inputs from IANS)