Kapil~~s Devils made cricket a religion...

Published: Monday, June 23, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Kapil and his warriors pose ahead of the successful World Cup 1983 campaignNo, we don't get tired of watching Kapil's Devils beat Lloyd's men in 1983 Cup final on TV, nor reading anything associated with that terrific feat, time and again. The pictures of no-hopers India outwitting the firm favourites Windies and the humble Kapil, beaming a wide smile across his face, receiving the Trophy beamed across the globe etched deep into the minds of millions of Indians. You never get bored of watching Balvinder Singh Sandhu's big inswinger that castled the clueless Greenidge, Kapil's stunning catch that saw the back of dangerous Viv Richards, nostril twirling Srikkanth's blazing innings, Madan Lal sprinting in faster for his military medium deliveries and Amarnath teasing the Windies batters with his yawningly slow run-up and tidy length et al.

It was the defining moment in the history Indian cricket: It made cricket a religion in Indian sub-continent and cricketers demi-gods One-day cricket shot-up to overshadow Test cricket. More youngsters took to cricket. Money flowed like water into the sport which injected the much-needed professionalism into the sport besides spurred infrastructure development. And on the flop side it relegated national sport Hockey and other team sports into oblivion...

How did they do it?(!) India started the Cup sojourn as rank outsiders with odds stacked at 66:1. Got off to a stunning start with an upset victory against Windies in the opening group tie, suffered big defeats against the giants Australia&Windies before a morale booster win against Zimbabwe and Aussie rout propelled 'em to semis where they overpowered the formidable hosts (studded with Botham, Willies, Arnold, Boycs, Fowler, Lamb et al), thanks to Yashpal's calculated 61 and Sandeep Patil's blazing 51. And in the final the lion hearted Kapil's lads nee Devils proved one and all wrong with a spirited team effort: Krish, Sandeep and tail enders came good with bat. Amarnath shone with both bat and ball, Kapil held onto a stunner, Madan lal, BinnySandhu chipped in with wickets.

To sum up: A balanced unit, a fine team effort, hoard of upset wins, few hiccups and a slice of luck was a recipie for India's success...

'83 WC final: Scorecard

The Indian Gladiators: Kapil da jawab nahi: Kapil lead his side flooded with decent all-rounders (no, definetly not the type of bits-and-pieces players) from the front. India started its campaign with a bang beating Windies in their first group tie before Aussies and Windies (in second league tie) gave 'em the reality check. However Kapil kept his side in hunt with a hurricane 175* against Zimbabwe. India were reduced to 20/5 before Kapil made his way to the middle and tore apart the Zimb attack hitting 16 boundaries and six sixes in his 138-ball knock. He shared a record 126 runs with Kirmani (22) for the ninth wicket. India piled on a healthy 266/8 in 60 overs and bowled out Zimb for 235 in 57 overs. India spurred with Kapil's innings overwhelmed the Aussies in their last group tie to join Windies in last four round from Group-B. Kapil spell spelt doom for England in semis. The right-arm seamer plucked 3/35 to limit England to 230 before Yashpal's entertaining 61 sealed the game in India's favour.



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