1979 started with the big question, who will stop the mighty from completing a hattrick of World Cups. Nobody gave any team a chance against West Indies again. But, to the surprise of all, including the Indians, the worst team of the first two edition of World Cup turned the Cricket World upside down and started a revolution.
The tournament was ruled by Kapil Dev. His century against Zimbabwe took India to the semifinals. Then his catch of Richards ensured India’s victory in the finals. In between even with bowl he succeeded taking 5 wicket in an inning. He also emerged as the player with maximum catches. He got only one player of the match award, but his knock of 175* was a fairy tale performance. He also took 12 wickets. With his allround performance, his lifting the World Cup was the fitting end to the best World Cup till then.
Tournament of Upsets and Lesser Known Players
1983 World Cup was full of upsets. First debutant Zimbabwe shocked Australia, then India shocked everyone that included two wins over West Indies. The World Cup belonged to allrounders. Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Amarnath were the prominent faces of the tournament who used the willow and leather both for effective results. Lesser known players like Madan Lal, Roger Binny, Winston Davis played the game of their life. Prominent players like Richards and Zaheer Abbas also joined the party.
Statistically, the World Cup saw the highest individual score and best bowling in an inning. Kapil Dev’s 175* remained the highest score for a long time. Winston Davis took 7 wickets that took a long time to better.
West Indies equalled the record of biggest victory by wickets defeating Zimbabwe by 10 wickets. 4 times 300 plus was scored. England reached the feat twice, although Pakistan scored the highest run.
The Big Question
Australia failed to impress again. Zimbabwe impressed on debut. The Cricket World opened again. West Indies showed they were beatable. India showed past does not matter. Now, the big question emerged as who will replace West Indies as the champion in coming era.