Many critics of the India’s 1983 WC win have come out in recent years to downplay efforts of the team. The Kapil’s Devils, as the victorious team are fondly called, inspired cricket fans in India and abroad with their underdog victory.
Let’s see what India’s then-captain, Kapil Dev, had to say about the team. We’ll also see how the Men in Blue got to one of their most prestigious titles in history.
How Does Kapil Dev Feel about India’s 1983 WC Win?
Kapil Dev doesn’t rule out India’s underdog status at the 1983 WC, even if he doesn’t think India got to the trophy by accident:
“When you start playing cricket, you keep on moving in the same manner and you don’t really analyse it so much that yes we are going to play in the World Cup final for the first time that, too, against the West Indies at Lord’s. We didn’t think so much… We only had positive thinking, going forward. When we reached the final, we didn’t reach there by a fluke. We kept on beating the best teams in the tournament,”
Kapil doesn’t believe the India 1983 WC win was by any chance a fluke, even if he doesn’t take any extra credit for his team’s success:
“As a captain, you are more bothered about your team’s performance. It gave the team a booster, the team required that at that moment…But I won’t say that was the only thing [which gave India their maiden World Cup]. You don’t win the World Cup with just one knock. You win the World Cup with the entire team’s efforts. Everybody had played their role and I played mine to the best of my ability.”
How India Got to Their Well-Deserved 1983 WC Win
India vs West Indies
Then-underdogs India faced an established, experienced West Indies side in their first WC game. The West Indies team were defending champions and outright favorites to claim the 1983 WC. Quality players in every department saw many commentators write off India before the game. Top West Indies stars like Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards were in their prime, along with top starters like Joel Garner and Michael Holding.
India were resolute in the game, registering an impressive 262 on the scoreboard courtesy of massive inputs from Yashpal Sharma and other players. West Indies struggled to chase this score and the Men in Blue ended up defeating a mighty WC opponent by 34 runs in the first game.
India vs Zimbabwe
India’s victory over Zimbabwe was a massive motivation going into other games in the tournament. Next up was Zimbabwe, a skilled team with deadly pace bowlers and capable batters. Howeve, Syed Kirmani neutralized Zimbabwe’s batting prowess with five catches in the game, dismissing some of the African’s top swingers.
Zimbabwe got dismissed later on in the game and India took all the points with a 5-wicket victory.
India vs Australia
Next up was Australia, after India lost two previous matches against determined opposition. The Men in Blue were staring another early WC exit in the face and had to beat Australia to qualify. Everyone in the game for India gave their best to overcome Aussie’s determined fielded players.
A 240 runs on the scoreboard and 10 Australian wickets saw India seal the game by 129 runs.
India vs England
Mohinder Amarnath stepped up at the dying stages of India’s 1983 WC win when it mattered most. He etched his name in WC history with exciting Man-of-the-Match performances against England and the West Indies.
England were comfortable from the onset, recording a 141/3 and looked set to outclass India at the semifinal stage. However, Amarnath stepped up to stifle the English, combining to take seven English wickets and a half-century.
India vs West Indies
India had to defeat the West Indies for a second time in the 1983 WC to seal their maiden world cup trophy. Mohinder Amarnath was at the center of proceedings once again in this game after seeing off England. The West Indies team came out firing on all cylinders, banking on Viv Richards to bring home the goods.
Pressure on Viv’s shoulders will end up unsettling him, a skied shot was just what Kapil Dev banked on to send him out. India’s fortunes saw a turnaround after that dismissal, charging up all players to give in their best.
The West Indies were bowled out at this game courtesy of Mohinder Amarnath. The expert cricketer also won the Man-of-the-Match award in the final for his daring performances and fantastic results.