Kapil Dev, without an iota of doubt, is one of the greatest players to have graced the world of cricket with his excellent skills and impeccable techniques. The all-rounder is considered the best with his pinnacle performance of scoring more than 5,000 runs and 400 wickets in his entire Test career.
The annals of Indian cricket history have one event that is etched in gold, i.e., the World Cup win of 1983. The win catapulted the Indian team on the global map of cricket and shaped the trajectory of the gentlemen’s game in the years that followed. The man who shepherded the men in blue to steal the cup from two-time world champions, West Indies, was none other than the captain, Kapil. The playing 11, since then, is often touted as ‘Kapil’s Devils.’
As the legend celebrates his 63rd birthday, here are some of his most memorable performances on the pitch:
INDIA VS. ZIMBABWE – TUNBRIDGE WELLS, 1983
This match is one that is hard to forget as the audience witnessed one of the best performances ever in the history of the game. India was dangling by a thread with a score of 17 runs, and 5 wickets lost when Kapil pushed the team to victory by scoring a fantastic 175 runs off 138 balls. The all-rounder dropped jaws with his mind-blowing and audacious shots. Unfortunately, the game was never telecasted as BBC was on strike that day, but the stories of the game paint the picture just fine.
INDIA VS. PAKISTAN – MADRAS, 1980
Kapil was known as a batter, but the world saw him as an equally adept bowler for the first time. He emerged as a stump-smashing fast bowler as he took 7 wickets off 56 runs, which helped India win the match by 10 wickets.
INDIA VS. AUSTRALIA – MELBOURNE, 1981
This was the match where Kapil unfurled as an all-rounder for the second time. He maintained his efficiency as an all-rounder. Despite having a thigh injury, Kapil took 5 wickets off 28 runs in the final match of the series and flipped the entire game. India won by 59 runs.
INDIAN VS. ENGLAND – LORD’S, 1990
Kapil became the first player in the world to have hit the ball straight across the boundary four times consecutively. Despite India ending up losing the game, his performance still sparks conversation and compliments for the player. Kapil scored a total of 77 runs, with four back-to-back sixes against England’s Eddie Hemmings.
Kapil has carved out a legacy like nobody else. It is believed that in his entire career as an all-rounder, Kapil has never delivered a no-ball. The greatness of the entire team is essayed through the recent Kabir Khan-directed 83, starring Ranveer Singh as the former skipper.
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