For Team India, reaching the 1983 World Cup final was itself a huge achievement, considering that Indians had managed to win only a single game in the last two world cups.
June 25, 1983, carries a special significance in the history of Indian cricket. On this day, the Indian Team led by Kapil Dev pulled out an unbelievable victory against the then favourites, West Indies, in the 1983 World Cup Final to clinch their maiden World Cup at Lord’s, London.
For many Indians, reaching the finals of the World Cup was itself a huge achievement, considering the team had managed to win only a single game in the last two World Cups. India were the clear underdogs going into the tournament and truly little was expected from them.
West Indies, on the other hand, was the invincible team of that era, having won both the inaugural 1975 and 1979 World Cups and were chasing a hat-trick in 1983. The West Indies team comprised of some of the most legendary names to have ever played cricket ably led by Clive Lloyd.
Put to bat first after Clive Lloyd won the toss, India’s start was not great as they lost their star opener Sunil Gavaskar for just two runs. After that, Kris Srikkanth (38 runs off 57 balls) and Mohinder Amarnath (26 runs off 80 balls) played some decent cricket to take India’s innings forward. However, their dismissal led to a batting collapse as India were bowled out for 183 in 54.4 overs.
Back then, each innings consisted of 60 overs in one day cricket.
Though 183 wasn’t an imposing target, especially against two-time defending champions West Indies, which had the likes of Desmond Haynes, Vivian Richards and Clive Lloyd in their line-up.
However, India did the impossible by bowling out West Indies for 142 in 52 overs and won the contest by 43 runs.
For India, Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal picked three wickets each. Balwinder Sandhu scalped two wickets while Kapil and Roger Binny picked one wicket each. That win is widely accepted to have revolutionised cricket in India and the rest, as they say, is history.
While cricket became a national obsession, it also compelled the rest of the world to believe that Asian teams are capable of winning the world title. It took another 28 years for India to repeat the World Cup glory, this time led by M.S. Dhoni against Sri Lanka in 2011 in front of the Indian crowd at Wankhede. Today, the number 183 has become a symbol of a never-die attitude which was shown by Kapil Dev and his men on June 25, 1983.