On Wednesday (June 26), Indian fans celebrated the 37th anniversary of India’s memorable victory in the 1983 World Cup. It was Team India’s very first World Cup final, and they defeated two-time champions West Indies at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
One of the members of that winning team, Sunil Gavaskar recently talked to jagran.com and revealed the name of one player who according to him, is the greatest match-winner in the history of Indian cricket.
The former India opener took the name of 1983 World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev and showered praises on his former teammate. Gavaskar talked about their time together with the Indian cricket team.
“In my opinion, Kapil Dev is the biggest match-winner India has ever produced. This is so because he could win games both with his batting and bowling abilities,” said Gavaskar.
The ‘Little Master’ went down memory lane and revealed an episode which, according to him, won him Kapil’s respect.
“I remember the first time I played against him was at Chennai’s M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in the Wills Trophy in 1978. We had just returned from the tour of Australia and Kapil and another talented all-rounder Rajendra Jadeja started to bowl against Mumbai,” the 70-year-old added.
Gavaskar disclosed that Kapil was bowling from wide of the crease so despite being an opponent, he advised him to bowl a little bit closer to the wicket. Gavaskar said that Kapil followed the advice which worked like magic and Kapil always respected him after that incident.
“Kapil was bowling well but was bowling from a bit wide of the crease, so I was able to leave the deliveries easily. When I went towards his end, I asked him to bowl from a bit closer to the wicket. His teammates thought I was sledging him, but he told them otherwise and then started to trouble the Mumbai batsmen following my suggestion. This was the first instance when I met him and the fact that I helped him despite being on the opposite team, I think that stayed with him, and he always respected me thereafter,” the Mumbaikar added further.
Gavaskar also dished out how few senior board members, along with some cricketers, tried to cause problems between him and Kapil.
“Few members of the board and some players who had retired at the time joined hands with the media and tried to create differences between us. But we were always thinking about the betterment of the sport in the country, and that is why we never let it bother us,” concluded Gavaskar.