On this day: Kapil Dev’s Team India became World Champions for the first time in 1983

The day June 25, 1983 will be etched in every Indian cricket lover’s memory forever as it was the day when India became World Champions for the first time by winning the 1983 World Cup. Led by the legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, India stunned two-time defending champions West Indies at the famous final at Lord’s to script a new era in Indian cricket. No one fancied India would win the crown in 1983 with India up against the mighty Windies team led by Clive Lloyd.

The West Indies team legends like openers Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes followed by master blaster Vivian Richards and skipper Lloyd with Larry Gomes coming in the middle. The bowling attack comprised of Malcolm Marshall, Sir Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, and Michael Holding – all true fast bowling greats.

After winning the toss, Lloyd asked India to have a bat first. India lost opener Sunil Gavaskar with only two runs on the board. Though Kris Srikkanth and Mohinder Amarnath tried to stabilise the innings, the wickets kept falling with India eventually getting bowled out for a modest 183 from 54.4 overs out of their regulation 60 overs.

At the change of innings, hardly anyone would have given Kapil Dev’s side any chance in the game. Greenidge was first to go, getting bowled to an in-swinging delivery by Balwinder Sandhu. Vivian Richards came in next in an attacking mood, scoring seven boundaries in his innings of 33. However, a miscued shot off all-rounder Madan Lal was caught beautifully by Kapil Dev running backwards.

All-rounder Roger Binny then got the all-important wicket of Clive Lloyd leaving West India at 66/5, still requiring 117 runs more. West Indies tried to make a comeback with Jeff Dujon and Malcolm Marshall stitching a 43-run partnership, but were eventually bowled out for 140. India had achieved the impossible and won the match by 43 runs.

It took another 28 years for India to repeat World Cup glory, this time led by MS Dhoni against Sri Lanka in 2011 in front of the Indian crowd at Wankhede.

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Sagar Biswas

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