16 June, 2021

The Lord's Miracle

Kapil Dev on the heady month in '83 when the 'hollow men' of one-day cricket came of age

The Lord's Miracle

It may not have been India’s "greatest achievement since Independence", as one over-enthusiastic cricket writer declared grandly at the time; but there can be little doubt that India’s triumph at Lord’s in the 1983 World Cup final ranks as one of Indian sport’s greatest achievements.

Picture this: in two previous World Cups, India had a sole win to their credit and that too against East Africa. The experts were convinced that the Indians were clueless when it came to the limited overs variety of the game. On his part, Kapil Dev is convincedthat the seeds of the miracle at Lord’s were planted at the Albion Sports Complex in Berbice, Guyana, three months before the start of the Prudential World Cup. It was at this nondescript ground that India beat West Indies by 27 runs—"the first great win for India," according to Kapil Dev, who was leading the team abroad for the first time.

Since making its one-day debut in England in 1974, India had earned the unenviable reputation of being the weakest team in the world. Even Sri Lanka—still three...

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