WORLD CUP CRICKET 2007: India turned cricket world upside down

Persistent and playing with a everything-to-gain approach, Kapil Dev’s India stunned the formidable West Indies by 43 runs in the 1983 World Cup final to win their maiden title.

English bookmakers’ 66-1 odds on an unlikely Indian win at Lord’s, London, had started looking justified when the seemingly invincible West Indies bowled out India for 183. But with nothing to lose, Indians bowled dream spells and fielded like men possessed to shut out the defending champions for 140 in 42 overs. Result: India were victors by 43 runs and with eight overs to spare.

India delivered the win that was based not on individual brilliance but on team performance and consistency right down the line. India’s not-so-secret weapon was the contributions of modest but effective all-rounders, led by Kapil Dev, one of the greatest of the time.

Mohinder Amarnath did very well with the ball and captured important wickets with his wobbly seaming deliveries. Similarly, Madan Lal, Roger Binny, Kirti Azad, Balwinder Sandhu and wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani produced small but useful contributions with the bat when needed. Above all, it was the team’s fielding, especially catching, that came as a great revelation from a side not particularly known for its athleticism.