Kapil Dev poses with the 1983 World Cup at Lord's.
MANCHESTER: Former India skipper Kapil Dev turned nostalgic when he walked into the Old Trafford stadium here on Tuesday. It was here at England’s second oldest Test venue that Kapil’s Devils made a stunning statement by upsetting hosts England to enter the final of the 1983 World Cup.
The final minutes of the semifinal had witnessed some crazy scenes. After taking three wickets and bowling England out for 213, skipper Kapil found himself in the thick of action again. He was in the middle along with Sandeep Patil, with India still needing one run to complete the upset, when overenthusiastic spectators invaded the ground.
The umpires had a tough time securing the stumps and the security officials quickly shooed away the unruly crowd to resume the action.
England skipper Bob Willis moved all his fielders to the off-side for a quick escape route to the pavilion as he ran in to bowl. All Sandeep had to do was make contact with the ball and sprint towards the dressing room, which sat parallel to the wickets, without even bothering to complete the run. It was a special day, indeed.
"It has changed a lot. The view from the pavilion should be great now," Kapil said of Old Trafford stadium which underwent a major renovation in 2010.
The Pavilion is now behind the wickets, but it houses only the members of the Lancashire Club. The players and media have a swanky building at the opposite end.
India, a major force
Kapil, who resumed his commentary duty after returning from a business trip to the US, was brimming with pride as he spoke about India’s fantastic run in the World Cup. "Things have changed a lot in the last few years and we are a major force in world cricket. It’s great to see a team who are very athletic and doing well on the field," said the 60-year-old.
The former India captain threw his weight behind an under-fire M.S. Dhoni who has been drawing flak for his failure to accelerate in the death overs. "It’s very unfair to criticise Dhoni. It has happened to those who have been rated as all-time greats. They are not going to be 20, all over again. The most important thing is Dhoni is doing a fabulous job, as for as the team is concerned. He is an integral member of the think tank. He may not be meeting the high expectations of the public. The biggest problem is we expect so much from our heroes like Dhoni," added Kapil.
Kapil also hailed skipper Virat Kohli for his consistency. "Kohli has set such a high standard that people are expecting him to score a century in every innings. Though he hasn’t scored one in the tournament, he has been consistent and contributing to the team’s success. I expect Kohli to continue his good form," said Kapil before doffing his hat to Rohit Sharma for his "outstanding run".
Like his stunning evolution in the last few years, Bumrah continues to surprise Kapil with his ability to deliver under high-pressure situations. "This guy is incredible. With a 10-yard run-up, it’s not easy to clock 145 kmph regularly. You need a lot of ability to generate that speed," he said.
Kapil also said the ICC should consider increasing the number of DRS reviews from one per innings. India wasted their precious DRS on the very first ball of the match. "Why not two or three? Let it take five more minutes. Having just one DRS review for an important knockout stage is not fair. One run or a wicket can change the entire game," said Kapil.