Kapil Dev turns 59: The captain who brought about a revolution in Indian cricket

first_imgOctober 16, 1978 is a date which will forever be remembered as the day one of the greatest all-rounder’s in the history of cricket made his debut.It was the day 19-year-old Kapil Dev made his Test debut against arch-rivals Pakistan at Faisalabad. India managed to draw the Test match with Kapil scoring just 8 runs and picking just 1 wicket in the game.40 years later as Kapil turns 59 today, the world remembers the Haryana Hurricane as the captain who changed the face of Indian cricket forever.Kapil went on to represent India in 131 Test matches over a career spanning 16 years during which time he picked up 434 wickets at an average of 29.64 with 23 five-wicket hauls.He currently holds the 7th spot on the list of most Test wickets but for almost 6 years he held the top spot before being surpassed by legendary West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh in March 2000.With the ball, Kapil is known for his lethal outswingers, which left the right handers rooted to their crease.He was a game-changer with the bat as well and had the skills to change the game’s momentum at any given time with his aggressive batting.Fielding wise, the decorated all-rounder was extremely athletic, giving his all to each ball.Kapil scored 5248 runs in Test cricket at an impressive average of 31.05 with 8 hundreds and 27 fifties.His hard-hitting abilities was on full display in one-day internationals as well where he slammed 3783 runs in 225 matches at 23.79 with one hundred and 14 half-centuries. He also took 253 wickets at 27.45 with one five-for.advertisementThe only hundred he scored in ODIs was probably the innings which defined Kapil the batsman.It came against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup at Tunbridge Wells. Kapil walked in the middle with India tottering at 9 for 4 with the semi-final spot on the line.Kapil batted with the tail, scoring runs at a fair clip but also batted with caution and smashed an unbeaten 175 off 138 balls with 16 boundaries and 6 sixes. His knock powered India to 266 for 8 in 60 overs.Reuters PhotoWith momentum on their side, India rode on a superb bowling performances from Madan Lal (3/42), Roger Binny (2/45) and Kapil (1/32) himself to bowl out Zimbabwe for 235.Former skipper and Kapil’s teammate Sunil Gavaskar himself described that knock as the greatest he has ever seen in a World Cup.”When you had lost half of your side with less than 20 runs on the board, obviously it was not looking good. But this gentleman (Kapil Dev) went out and played his innings. Best innings I had seen in limited overs international.””That 175 has to be in my view the greatest knock in the World Cup,” Gavaskar said.India then went on to defeat Australia and hosts England in the next two games and booked a berth in the final alongside the mighty West Indies.The summit clash at Lord’s was a classic David vs Goliath battle with two-time champions West Indies facing India, who were playing their first final.India posted a paltry 183 but an inspired bowling performance from Mohinder Amarnath (3/12), Madan Lal (3/31) and Balwinder Sandhu (2/32) saw them bowl out West Indies for 140 triggering massive celebrations at the home of cricket.Kapil lifted the World Cup trophy on the Lord’s balcony and started a revolution in Indian cricket.Last year in January, Kapil was inducted into the Legends Club ‘Hall of Fame’ in presence of former India captains Ajit Wadekar, Gavaskar and Nari Contractor at the Cricket Club of India.Tests – 5,248 runs, 434 wicketsODIs – 3,783 runs, 253 wicketsHappy Birthday to India’s 1983 @cricketworldcup winning captain, and one of the game’s greatest ever all rounders, @therealkapildev! pic.twitter.com/fk1uNQJmzS- ICC (@ICC) January 6, 2018Accepting the honour, the Haryana Hurricane said, “There is nobody in this country who do not want to be Sunil Gavaskar. For Sunil, was he best in the best in the game, no, he was best for the game.”Lot of people will come in, but this name (Sunil) will remain on the top. We had a passion for the game and were not looking for rewards and awards, anything. At that time we had so much of passion. With our success, if people get happiness, you feel proud about it. Now I feel, cricket has changed (and) it feels so nice,” said Kapil.”I was not technically correct, but we had no one to teach. In Mumbai, there were a lot of teachers. When we played cricket, there were no turf wickets in Chandigarh, what was there is passion,” he remembered.last_img read more

Read More