Former India opener Kris Srikkanth recalled the memories of their triumph at the 1983 World Cup, saying it was a turning point for ‘Indian cricket and Indians in general’.
Srikkanth said India did not think they would be able to defend 183 against Clive Lloyd’s legendary West Indies team at the mid-innings break of the historic final at Lord’s. The swashbuckling opener revealed it was Kapil Dev’s pep talk that instilled belief in the team.
Despite a well-paced 38 from Srikkanth who went on to become the top-scorer for India in the final, Kapil’s men managed just 183 on the board. However, an inspired bowling effort and some extraordinary fielding made sure India scripted history.
The mighty West Indies team were bowled out for 140 and Kapil went on to lift the World Cup at the Lord’s balcony — a scene inspired quite a few and changed Indian cricket forever.
Speaking at Star Sports Tamil show ‘Winning the Cup – 1983’, Srikkanth said: “With the batting line-up that West Indian had and looking at 183, we thought we had no scope at all. But Kapil Dev said one thing and he didn’t say we can win but he said – look guys we have got out for 183 and we should give resistance and not give away the match so easily.
“It was the turning point for Indian cricket and for Indians in general. At a time when Cricket was dominated by West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and others, a total underdog Indians became the world champions. It is a feeling that is hard to express, it’s a different experience. But as an Indian, we felt proud.”
‘Thrilled to hear about Rs 25,000 bonus’
Meanwhile, Srikkanth also revealed how the announcement of Rs 25,000 cash prize for reaching the final thriller the team on the eve of the big match at the Lord’s.
“I remember on the eve of the finals there were all the top officials from the board, the joint secretary and everyone and there was a small meeting. They said don’t worry about the finals tomorrow, you’ve come so far that’s itself fantastic. And whether tomorrow you win the match or not, they announced a 25000 rupees bonus for all of us. And we were all thrilled to hear that.
“And honestly, we did not feel that much pressure. It was everything to gain and nothing to lose scenario. Because favorites were West Indies, they were ’75 & ’79 champions and rockstar team, dominating world cricket, so we thought it was a big deal making it to the finals itself.”
“With the batting line-up that West Indian had and looking at 183, we thought we had no scope at all. But Kapil Dev said one thing and he didn’t say we can win but he said – look guys we have got out for 183 and we should give resistance and not give away the match so easily.”