The sheer brilliance of Kapil Dev at Turnbridge Wells in the Prudential World Cup, which helped India recover from 17 for 5 to 266 for 8, has been one of the most crucial knocks in Indian cricket history. Whenever we see about the turning points in Indian cricket, this knock from Kapil Dev sits comfortable among the top 5. Seven days later, India were crowned World Champions and all of a sudden, the face of Indian cricket was changed. India was now a superpower, having won the World Cup, becoming only the second country after West Indies.
The 60-over match started with India’s batting and they got an early blow as Sunil Gavaskar was dismissed for a silver duck. His opening partner Kris Srikkanth followed him after scoring a 13-ball duck. Soon, India were reduced to 17/5 and that’s when skipper Kapil Dev took charge. With his flamboyant batting display, he smashed Zimbabwe bowlers all round the park and remained unbeaten on 175, taking India to 266/8. Dev’s knock included 16 fours and six maximums.
In reply, India bundled Zimbabwe out for 235, winning the match by 31 runs. However, there was one stand out moment in the match from Kapil Dev, apart from his batting, which was a superb running catch to dismiss the threatening Kevin Curran, who was taking the game away from India at one stage. Curran was dismissed for a 93-ball 73 and following his wicket, the road to victory for India looked simple.
Kapil Dev was awarded the man of the match for his knock, which rescued India from a humiliating position. Years later when Kapil Dev was asked about the match, he simply said that the match against Zimbabwe made the team realize that India can be in the top four teams.
“Zimbabwe match was one match where the entire team started feeling this that ‘yes we can be in the top four teams and on a given day we can beat anybody’,” Kapil was seen saying in a video uploaded by ICC.
“That innings gave the team a reassurance that ‘yes we have the ability and we can win against any circumstances or we can bounce back from any place, any situation’,” he added.