On This Day In 1983: Team India Lifted Its First-Ever World Cup Trophy
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On This Day In 1983: Team India Lifted Its First-Ever World Cup Trophy

1983 World Cup, India
Kapil Dev. Image Credits: Getty Images

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There have been quite a few historic pictures in the Indian cricket fraternity that narrate the story of India’s uprise in world cricket. The first of which will always be Kapil Dev lifting the world cup trophy at the Lord’s Cricket Ground and the pillars of Indian cricket cherishing team India’s arrival in the cricketing circuit as the world watched in amazement.

It was in 1983  that the Indian team announced that they will be the future of world cricket in the years to follow. Going into the tournament, nobody expected the Men in Blue to lift the trophy on the final day. West Indies were a force to reckon with as they were the favourites when the tournament began and also throughout its course.

World cup, India
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

Interestingly, the underdogs and the favourites collided in the final and when the teams headed into the dressing room at half-time, the West Indian giants still looked the favourites to clear the finishing line. But what unfolded in the second half was nothing short of a miracle from team India.

Indian Batsmen Could Not Face The Heat Of The West Indian Bowlers

To the dismay of the Men in Blue, West Indies won the toss in the final. They elected to field first and back then it was a 60-over game. Windies knew that their strength lay in their fast bowling attack and their tall and robust pacers could easily dominate the comparatively short and frightened Indian batsmen.

India vs West Indies
Cricket World Cup 1983 Final at Lord’s Mohinder Amarnath. Photograph by Patrick Eagar.

What actually took place was what the Indian team feared the most. Their experienced opener, Sunil Gavaskar, departed only when the team’s score was 2 runs. The other incoming batsmen followed Gavaskar’s path as wickets kept on falling at regular intervals for the Indian team and they were bowled out only for 183 runs in the first innings.

Sir Andy Roberts was the pick of the bowlers for West Indies as he scalped 3 crucial wickets in the final. For the Men in Blue, Kris Srikkanth was the lone wolf as he scored 38 runs with the bat and saw the team struggle in front of the West Indians. All hopes seemed to fade away for the Indian players and fans due to dismal batting performance.

The West Indies Strength Surrendered In Front Of The Indian Spirit

Heading out for the second innings, the underdogs looked determined to take it to wire and leave no room for error as they faced the mighty Windies. They were first elated when the West Indies lost a couple of wickets in the first 50 runs and the Indian team could visualize a ray of hope when Desmond Heynes returned to the pavilion and West Indies were 50-2.

Indian Team
The Indian Team. Image Credits: Twitter

However, the biggest threat for the Men in Blue was Sir Vivian Richards, the greatest batsman of his generation and one of the greatest-ever to grace the field of cricket. He was flamboyant in his approach ever since West Indies resumed action in the second half and had smashed 33 runs off 28 balls. The underdogs knew that it will take a special effort for them to get rid of Sir Viv Richards.

Then stepped up the skipper, Kapil Dev, and portrayed what leading from the front actually means. Sir Viv Richards pulled a ball over to the deep mid-wicket off Madan Lal and Kapil Dev saw it as an opportunity to catch not only the ball but the trophy as well. Running backwards, Kapil Dev pulled off a blinder as the Men in Blue sprung to rejoice and could see them winning their first-ever world cup title. The Windies batsmen succumbed to the pressure and were eventually bowled out for 140 runs.

The miracle had happened. The underdogs had become champions. The world was witnessing something that they never imagined would happen in a lifetime.

The Men in Blue had won the world cup and Mohinder Amarnath was awarded as the Man of the Match for his all-round contribution. Then came the iconic picture of Kapil Dev lifting the World Cup trophy at Lord’s and telling the world that a new team is coming to dominate world cricket in the years to follow. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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