Published By: Nibandh Vinod
Last Updated: March 10, 2023, 09:59 IST
ON THIS DAY IN 1985: Indian cricket’s moment of reckoning came on June 25, 1983, when Kapil Dev and his motley bunch stunned cricketing superpower West Indies to win the 1983 World Cup. But many thought that the victory was a flash in the pan as India was far from being considered as a force to reckon with, even in limited overs cricket.
But two years on, the Indian team under the leadership of Sunil Gavaskar proved to the world that India were indeed among the best teams in the world in 50-overs cricket. Australia put on a show for the world as coloured clothing and white ball cricket made its global debut in the World Championship of Cricket.
Powered by Ravi Shastri’s all-round show, India registered comprehensive victories over arch-rivals Pakistan, England, Australia and New Zealand to make their way into the summit clash, which was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on March 10, 1985.
India took on Pakistan for the second time in the tournament and this time for the ultimate prize. Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first. A fired-up Kapil Dev bowled a menacing spell to reduce the Green Brigade to 29/3. Senior pros Javed Miandad (48) and Imran Khan (35) shared a painstakingly slow 68-run stand to take Pakistan past the 100-run mark.
Young leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakhrishnan picked up three wickets to wreck the middle and lower order as Pakistan finally managed to score 176/9 in 50 overs.
Indian opener Kris Srikkanth took the attack to the Pakistanis from the word go and played a stroke filled knock of 67 off just 77 deliveries. Srikkanth hit six boundaries and two maximums in his knock, before falling to the legendary Imran Khan.
His opening partner Ravi Shastri kept one end tied, staying unbeaten on 63 off 148 deliveries as India registered a comprehensive 8-wicket win with 17 deliveries to spare.
Ravi Shastri was awarded a brand new Audi 100 after being adjudged the ‘Man of the Series’, and Sunil Gavaskar announced that he would not lead an Indian team again, bowing out on a high.
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