England and Wales hosted the tournament between June 9 and June 25 with a total of 27 matches being played. It was the era of traditional cricketing whites and 60-over-per-side matches. The tournament was known as the Prudential Cup and it was just the third edition of the World Cup with 8 countries fighting for the ultimate cricket glory.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at some of the top Indian performers who helped the country achieve the ‘unthinkable’ and set the ball rolling for future India stars:
One of the greatest cricketers of all time, Kapil Dev justified his ‘all-rounder’ tag with his tremendous performances on the field. Apart from being an inspirational leader, a great spell of bowling (5/43 vs Australia at Trent Bridge), a few crucial catches and a spectacular knock made the all-rounder’s journey at the 1983 World Cup very special. There were eight hundreds and eight five-wicket hauls in the tournament, and the Indian captain, who took 12 wickets, was the only Indian who both scored a century and took a five wicket haul in the tournament. Kapil Dev finished the tournament with most runs for India (303) and also took seven catches in eight matches – the most catches by a non-wicketkeeper in the tournament. The Indian captain also re-wrote the history books with his remarkable knock of 175 not out against Zimbabwe. It was not only the highest World Cup score at the time but was also the record score in ODI cricket. India were 9/4 when Kapil Dev walked out to the crease and that soon became 17/5, but a mind boggling one-man show by the skipper (an unbeaten knock of 175 from 138 balls that included 16 fours and 6 sixes) took India to victory in what was a must win game for the team. In the final vs the West Indies, it was Kapil Dev’s fantastic catch, running back, that dismissed the dangerous Vivian Richards and turned the match. Richards had already blasted his way to 33 off 28 balls and was threatening to completely take the game away from India.
Mohinder Amarnath, son of former Indian skipper, the legendary Lala Amarnath, played a very crucial role for India in their journey to the World Cup title. Thanks to his outstanding performances in the semi-final and final against England and the West Indies respectively, he was named Man of the match in both games. His fine all-round skills came to the fore in the crucial final, as he played a pivotal knock of 26 runs, which was the second highest individual score for India and helped the team reach 183. He also picked up three wickets, giving away just 12 runs in the seven overs he bowled in the final. In the semi-final vs England, where he was also adjudged man of the match, he scored an unbeaten 46 and took two wickets
Roger Binny, a very talented all-rounder from Karnataka, proved his mettle in English conditions, as he finished the 1983 World Cup as the leading wicket-taker overall. Binny, who played in all the games for India, picked up 18 wickets (which also included a four-wicket haul against Australia) at an economy of 3.81 to rule the bowling charts. He also bowled 9 maidens and had a tournament average of 18.66. Binny’s 18 wickets in the tournament was at that time a World Cup record. Binny opened the tournament with a fine three-wicket haul against the West Indies and repeated the same feat when the two sides met again later in the group stage. Binny finished with figures of 1/23 in his 10 overs in the final at Lord’s
Another fine all-rounder Madan Lal was also one of the 1983 World Cup final heroes. The middle order batsman and nippy medium-pacer accounted for three bigwigs of West Indian cricket in the final at Lord’s. His wickets were crucial turning points in the match wickets, as he dismissed Desmond Haynes, Vivian Richards and Larry Gomes. He had figures of 3/31 in the final and finished as the joint second highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 17 wickets, at an economy rate of 3.43 in the eight games he played. His wicket of Vivian Richards in the final, thanks largely to a spectacular catch by Kapil Dev, was what turned the summit clash on its head.