Kapil Dev Reckons India Were Always The Underdogs In His Tenure As Indian Skipper
Jun 26, 2022 at 3:16 PM
Kapil Dev and the rest of the Indian team had famously won the 1983 World Cup despite going into the tournament as ranked underdogs. On the other hand, the Virat Kohli-led Team India had gone into the 2021 T20 World Cup as one of the favourites to reach the final but failed to make it even to the knockouts.
India is a powerhouse in world cricket and that is often reflected in the fact that they are seen as one of the favourites whenever a major ICC tournament like the World Cups (T20I, ODI) or Champions Trophy comes around. However, this wasn’t always the case, as former captain, Kapil Dev pointed out.
Kapil Dev Reckons He Didn’t Experience The Feeling Of Being Favourites As His Team Were Never In That Situation
“I don’t know,” Kapil Dev said when asked about whether the tag of being favourites weighs down the current team. Kapil Dev was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the 1983 World Cup Opus, a limited edition coffee table book published in association with Paymentz.
“We were never in a situation where we were called the favourites. So I don’t know what that feeling is.”
India had only won one World Cup game way back in 1975 before the team won the title itself in 1983. That win came against East Africa, a team made of players from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia, in 1975.
Kapil Dev Reckons India Were Always The Underdogs As Cricket Fraternity Never Gave Them The Chance Of Winning Anything
The East Africa team never played in any later World Cups. However, India incredibly beat the mighty West Indies twice in 1983, with the second win coming in the final where they defended a score of 183.
“Today’s boys will be able to tell you what they feel. We were always the underdogs. People never gave us the chance that we will win the World Cup or even win anything,” said Kapil Dev.
The 63-year-old, widely rated as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time, said that he doesn’t see his seminal knock of 175 off 138 balls against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup as the point where the perception about the team’s chances changed. India had found themselves tottering at 17/5 but Kapil Dev then smashed 16 fours and six sixes to almost single-handedly taking India to 266/8. India went on to win the match by 31 runs.
The 60-year-old Kapil Dev had served the Indian national cricket team for over 16 years since 1978. The fast bowling all-rounder has featured in 225 ODIs apart from 131 Tests between 1978 and 1994. The celebrated cricketer also became the first-ever Indian captain to lift the coveted World Cup title in England when they trounced the Windies by 43 runs at historic Lord’s on the 24th of June 1983.
Kapil Dev has 5248 runs to his name in 184 Tests innings. Furthermore, he claimed 434 wickets in 227 innings. In 198 ODI innings, Kapil Dev accumulated 3783 runs, whereas, he bagged 253 wickets in 221 innings.