One such moment that fans will cherish all their lives is the catch that Indian skipper Kapil Dev took in the final to dismiss the dangerous Vivian Richards. Richards’ batting in that era defined the way Clive Lloyd & Co approached their cricket: with utter ruthlessness.
And the way Richards began having a go at the Indian bowlers after the Windies had lost a quick wicket in pursuit of 183, there was a lurking danger that the most important game of the competition would turn into a one-sided affair.
But Kapil had other ideas. Having overcome initial disappointment, the two-time defending champions had crossed the 50-mark with both the openers Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes back in the hut.
Richards meanwhile was sauntering along at 33 before his trademark swagger, crossed the fine line which separates confidence and arrogance. Richards attempted an ill-advised hook over midwicket off Madan Lal which proved his undoing.
Having watched the ball balloon up, Kapil sprinted a considerable distance to complete the catch that sent shockwaves across the venue. Madan Lal recalls: “We knew Richards was the danger man and the way he started, we felt we were in serious trouble. But Kapil Dev was no ordinary fielder.
“The moment I saw him chasing the ball, I had a strong feeling that he would take the catch. I think we turned the game around from there and went on to win it.”
Many a brilliant fielder is known to fumble under pressure, but Madan feels, Kapil was determined to win the trophy for India and there was no way he was going to drop that extremely difficult catch.
“I was confident Viv would be heading back to the pavilion if Kapil could get under the ball in time.” Another interesting thing to note about Richards’ dismissal is that it was Madan who was adamant on bowling one more over before Kapil brought another bowler.
Thankfully, for Indian fans, the skipper paid heed to this request and as they say, the rest is history!
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