Mumbai: Former India cricketer Kris Srikkanth has said that his teammates never thought they had any scope of winning the 1983 World Cup final after being bowled out for a paltry 183, but a pep-talk from captain Kapil Dev changed the atmosphere in the team, ultimately leading to victory.
The Kapil Dev-led had defeated the West Indies by 43 runs in the 1983 World Cup final at Lord''s in England. India made only 183 batting first but ended up defending the score, as West Indies were bowled out for 140.
Srikkanth, who had scored 38 runs for India in the match - the highest individual score for the team, recollected memories on the eve of the 37th anniversary of the historic match.''With the batting line-up that West Indian had and looking at 183, we thought we had no scope at all.
But Kapil Dev said one thing and he didn''t say we can win but he said - look guys we have got out for 183 and we should give resistance and not give away the match so easily,'' Srikkanth said on ''Star Sports 1 Tamil show Winning the Cup - 1983''.
According to the former Chief Selector, the win that day was a big achievement and proved to be a turning point for Indian cricket."It was the turning point for Indian cricket and for Indians. At a time when cricket was dominated by West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and others, a total underdog Indians became the world champions," he said.
Srikkanth also recalled that the Board office bearers had announced a bonus of Rs 25,000 for them for reaching the final."On the eve of the finals there were all the top officials from the board, the joint secretary and everyone and there was a small meeting. They said don''t worry about the finals tomorrow, you''ve come so far that''s itself fantastic. And whether tomorrow you win the match or not, they announced a 25,000 rupees bonus for all of us," he said.
"We did not feel that much pressure. Because favorites were West Indies, they were 1975 & 1979 champions, dominating world cricket, so we thought it was a big deal making it to the finals itself," he added.(UNI)