Kapil Dev World Cup 1983 Mohinder Amarnath
Left: Kapil Dev holds the World Cup aloft
Right: Indian fans flood Lord’s after the match © Getty Images

This is the 35th anniversary of India’s maiden World Cup win, against West Indies at Lord’s, on June 25, 1983, under Kapil Dev. Coincidentally, India won the World Cup 51 years to the date of their first Test match, also at Lord’s. Despite their army of swing-bowling all-rounders, nobody was optimistic about India winning the 1983 World Cup. Kim Hughes was probably the only exception (he called him the “dark horses” before the tournament).

India stunned all by defeating two-time champions West Indies (and till then unbeaten in the tournament history) in their first league match of the edition. They then beat Zimbabwe twice (in one of these they were 9 for 4, then 17 for 5, then 78 for 7, only to be rescued by an outrageous unbeaten 175 from Kapil Dev).

India then scored 247 against Australia in the must-win (for both) league match at Chelmsford. Then Roger Binny (4 for 29) and Madan Lal (4 for 20) skittled out Australia for 129.

In the semi-final, at Old Trafford, Kapil used Kirti Azad and (12-1-28-1) Mohinder Amarnath (12-1-27-2) brilliantly in the middle overs. England crawled to 213, and India won easily. Mohinder got 46 to go with his spell to win the Man of the Match award.

Even then, few gave India a chance in the final at Lord’s. Krishnamachari Srikkanth pulled and hooked Andy Roberts for four and six and square-drove him for four, but the joy did not last long. He was trapped leg-before by Malcolm Marshall for a 57-ball 38: the highest score of the match, acquired at rapid rate, given the pace at which runs would be scored throughout the day.

Mohinder (26) and Sandeep Patil (27) chipped in. Kapil Dev smashed an 8-ball 15 in characteristic fashion. Nos. 9, 10, and 11 got 42 between them. But India eventually slumped to 183 in 54.4 overs. It was expected to be a no-show from there.

But Kapil believed, as did his men, after he famously uttered “we have made 183, they have got to make them” in the dressing-room. Almost immediately, Balwinder Sandhu bowled a peach to which Gordon Greenidge, no less, shouldered arms and was bowled.

Viv Richards then casually dispatched the Indian bowlers all across the ground. Fifty came up in no time, but soon after that Desmond Haynes hit Madan to cover point. Then Viv pulled Madan, but the ball came to him higher than the legend had expected; Kapil ran yards backwards, kept his eyes on the ball, and took a wonderfully judged catch to send Viv back for a 28-ball 33.

Madan then struck for a third time, getting Larry Gomes caught at slip. Clive Lloyd, batting with a pulled groin, hit Binny straight to extra-cover. And Kirmani plunged full-length to his right to catch Faoud Bacchus off Sandhu. The score read 76 for 6.

But Marshall joined Jeff Dujon, and the pair battled along. They added 43 when Kapil summoned Mohinder. Dujon tried to leave the first ball but it hit his glove and then the off-stump. Then Marshall was caught at slip off Mohinder and Roberts trapped leg-before off Kapil. The last wicket fell at 140, with Michael Holding leg-before off — Mohinder, named Man of the Match again, this time for 26 and 7-0-12-3.

Brief scores:

India 183 in 54.4 overs (Krishnamachari Srikkanth 38; Andy Roberts 3 for 32) beat West Indies 140 in 52 overs (Viv Richards 33; Madan Lal 3 for 31, Mohinder Amarnath 3 for 12) by 43 runs.

Man of the Match: Mohinder Amarnath.