Mumbai, April 3: It was as glorious summer's day at Lords in 1983 when India shocked defending champions West Indies and indeed the world to emerge World Champions. Now 28 years on, a second generation of Indians have proved their mettle in the global arena and ensnared the coveted trophy and title all over again.
Of the present 15-member squad, Sachin Tendulkar was 10 years old when Kapil Dev and Co. brought home the glittering cup, and a fifth standard student yet to discover his cricketing prodigy; Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra were in play school; Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir and M S Dhoni were toddlers; Yusuf Pathan and Sreesanth were just a few months old and Munaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla, Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli were still gleams in their parents' eyes.
Over the years, they found out and honed their cricketing talents while always paying due reverence to the 1983 World Cup teams' players, worshipping them for the true-blue heroes
that they were and choosing models and mentors from amongst them. After all, apart from the drive and verve that binds them as champions, there stands a world of difference between the champions of a generation past and our most recent victors.
- The Indian cricket team in 1983 was relatively inexperienced side whereas the 2011 team is well balanced
- In 1983 Indian team was considered to the underdog and dark horse who surprised the whole world as they went on to become the world champions. The 2011 Indian team is the favorite to clinch the World Cup title
- The 1983 Indian team relied heavily upon their all-rounders and swing bowlers whereas the strength of the 2011 team are the batsmen and spinners
And one mustn't forget that the 1983 team has stayed very active in the sport even after they completed their days in the sun, doing their utmost to pass on the baton and torch to the generations that followed. The likes of Brijesh Patel and Madan Lal became coaches of
Team India in 1990s, Krishnamachari Srikkanth is presently the selection panel chief, Sunil Gavaskar has been an adminstrator with the BCCI, Mohinder Amarnath is a consultant for Ranji's Bengal team, etc...
So, they have made it a point to pass on their genius and skill and knowledge in the sport to engender a tradition of champions in the country. The World Champions 2011 is testimony to their success in that endeavour.