Kris Srikkanth, who was part of the World Cup-winning squad of 1983, believes there was no pressure on the team going into the tournament as they were underdogs and for them it was a scenario of nothing to lose and everything to gain.
37 years ago on this very day, India stunned two-time champions West Indies to win their first-ever World Cup title at the iconic Lord’s.
“I remember 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. And we were all thrilled to hear that,” Srikkanth said while speaking on Star Sports.
“And honestly, we did not feel that much pressure. It was everything to gain and nothing to lose scenario. Because favourites were West Indies, they were ’75 & ’79 champions and rockstar team, dominating world cricket, so we thought it was a big deal making it to the finals itself,” he added.
The 60-year-old also talked about the atmosphere in the Indian dressing room before they went out to defend their total of 183 and how skipper Kapil Dev’s pep talk inspired the team.
“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,” the veteran of 43 Tests and 146 ODIs said.
Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath were the pick of the Indian bowlers as they picked three wickets each while Balwinder Sandhu scalped two. Kapil and Roger Binny also chipped in with a wicket each and contributed to one of India’s most famous wins in cricketing history.
“It was the turning point for Indian cricket and for Indians in general. At a time when cricket was dominated by West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and others, a total underdog Indians became the world champions. It is a feeling that is hard to express, it’s a different experience. But as an Indian, we felt proud,” Srikkanth said.