“Don’t give up easily” were the words which spurred the India cricket team to win its maiden World Cup in 1983, and give it the belief to defend a miniscule total of 183 in 60 overs on that magical day of June 25.
“See, Kapil Dev said only one thing. He said, ‘we have got out for 183. But, don’t give up easily. Let’s fight, and let us not give it up easily’. He said one final effort, so don’t give up. Those were his exact words,” revealed India legend Kris Srikkanth, who opened the innings with Sunil Gavaskar and scored 38 runs, which ultimately turned out to be the highest score from both sides in the final.
With West Indies opener Gordon Greenidge being bowled by Balwinder Sandhu for one, Srikkanth said India were still not entertaining thoughts of a win, but decided to make life as difficult as possible for the Clive Lloyd-led side.
“(Balwinder) Sandhu again because of the slope with the ball coming in and (Gordon) Greenidge got out, and suddenly, see, we knew 183 was not a winning total, but let us make it as difficult for the West Indies,” said Srikkanth on chennaisuperkings.com.
“So, the first 20 per cent hope came when Greenidge got out. Then, when Vivian Richards started batting, those days there was something called a tea time (in ODIs), because it was a 60-overs match. (Richards goes for the big hits)… I was standing at cover, and me and Roger (Binny) are smiling at each other. ‘What macha, match over before tea time aa? (Will West Indies end the match before tea?).
“But then again, it is back to Kapil Dev. What a catch (of Richards)! When you look back and analyse the catch properly, it is actually Yashpal Sharma’s catch. Yashpal Sharma is running from square leg and it is Yashpal who is coming from the front. He could have taken it easily. That gave us the inspiration. After that Lloyd getting out, (Desmond) Haynes, and then we said, they are four down means we have a good chance. Then suddenly, the pressure was on us. Now, we had the upper hand.
“Suddenly this (Jeff) Dujon and (Malcolm) Marshall started playing. Dujon is a dangerous guy. He started playing well. Luckily Mohinder Amarnath scalped the wicket of Dujon. Frankly, the way we put pressure on them,” added Srikkanth.
“…we could not believe. Farokh Engineer was there, Pataudi was there and it was total chaos. Imagine, Kapil Dev is lifting the cup, we are all holding the cup, 1983 World Cup, Lord’s we are the world champions. Unbelievable.”