New Delhi:The year 1983 has gone down in the history as the glorious year for Indian cricket. It's the only year when India won the World Cup, the most prestigious cricket title till date.
Though India had started the World Cup campaign as the underdogs, they withstood all the challenges thrown on to them by the cricketing giants of the world. Kapil Dev s historical knock of 175 runs with the help of 16 fours and six sixes came against Zimbabwe at the group stage. His knock showed what Indians were capable of. He came out to bat when India were reeling at 17/5. His knock not only won that match but also infused the fight till death attitude in the team.
India is celebrating the silver jubilee of the glorious achievement today and we take you down the memory lane to revisit the defining moments of the 1983 World Cup final:
Giants versus underdogs
Before taking on Indians in the final, the defending champions West Indies had faced India in the preliminary matches and were beaten in one match by 34 runs. In the next match they avenged the defeat only to face the underdogs in the final.
In the final, West Indies put India to bat. On the seaming conditions of Lords wicket, Indian batsmen struggled against the likes of Michael Holding and Andy Roberts. India s batting maestro 'Sunny' Gavaskar perished after two overs and fell as the first wicket. Srikkanth scored 38 runs and Mohinder Amarnath, who survived for almost two hours, took 80 balls to score 26 runs. After him no other batsman except Sandip Patil could cross the 20-run mark and the Goliaths bundled India for just 183 runs.
Sandhu claimed the big one
The target wasn't a big one but it was defendable. Medium pacer Balwinder Singh Sandhu tried and tested his luck against the devastating Gordon Greenidge whom he had bowled twice in that year. He kept troubling him with his outswingers. And then he bowled an inswinger that pitched at the right spot. Greenidge, anticipating another outswinger, raised his bat to leave it but the ball came in sharply and clipped the bails. This was the first and a very crucial breakthrough.
Richards caught by Kapil
After Greenidge's departure, Sir Vivian Richards toyed with Indian bowling and smashed a quickfire 33 off 28 balls with the help of seven fours. Madan Lal, who was about to be removed from the bowling, asked his captain Kapil Dev for one more over and Richards got ready for another boundary. Richards played a pull shot and the ball sailed over square leg. Kapil sprinted back and sideways for some 15-20 yards with his eyes set on the ball. He took a sensational catch to remove the dangerous Richards. That catch is still etched in the memories of those who watched that match.
Amarnath removed Holding
The most magical moment of the match was grabbed by Mohinder Amarnath. Michael Holding and Joel Garner were the last pair standing and needed 57 runs to win. They added 14 runs. Amarnath hit Holding on his pads. The umpire raised his finger and history was made! India won the 1983 Prudential World Cup. The Indian players ran all over the park and in all directions. Cricket fans, not to be left behind, ran on to the field to hug and congratulate the winners.
And how can we forget the moment when Kapil Dev and his heroes lifted the trophy. It was a moment that made its way to the Wisden Almanack.