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Thread: Thirty years on, Kapil's 175 remains 'not out'!

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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Default Thirty years on, Kapil's 175 remains 'not out'!

    As Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men continue their dream run in the Champions Trophy, another record set by one of Dhoni's predecessors turn thirty on Tuesday. Yes, we are talking about Kapil Dev's unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe that many feel, gave Indian cricket a new ray of hope.

    That too, was in England, exactly three decades back. At a time, when all thought India were heading towards an ouster, perhaps, it was one 175 that turned things their way. The heroics actually changed the fate of Indian cricket, may be, forever.

    The evening of June 18, 1983 at the Tunbridge Wells, was actually an eye opener for world cricket for reasons more than one. All this while, cricket was considered a batsman's game, and the evening proved what an all-rounder (that too a strike bowler) could do with the bat. That composite and significant innings not only helped India win the game, but also paved the way to the historic final. And, that's how a Haryana Hurricane struck England!

    For a team reeling at 17-5, all that's required is some steady innings and in those days, when the concept of big hitting wasn't that popular, Kapil's innings was a revelation of sorts. How could a genuine fast bowler go in for those big hits?

    In the era of T20, it may look quite obvious but it was a different ball game then. But even after thirty years, the question remains---how did Kapil do it? An integral part of the World Cup winning team, Madan Lal feels such heroics are a part of the game.

    "There are times when a player reacts to the situation and Kapil's innings was one such. We had already lost five wickets by then but we had to win the game to stay in the fray," Madan Lal tells TOI. And as the former cricketer speaks, you can feel the excitement.

    "It feels like yesterday. Kapil told us not to be worried and hang on there, we just did that," Lal reminisces.

    Perhaps, that's how time flies! In those days, one-day cricket was all about a 60 over affair, and the concept wasn't a tailor made one for most of the players. With Test cricket still ruling the roost, most of the cricketers had difficulty in getting accustomed to the format, forget calling for the shots.

    And that's where, Kapil's innings stood out. It gave Indian cricketers a shot in the arm, proving that even the tail-enders or the bowling line-up could deliver the goods. "His innings was a treat to watch.

    Taking the crease when the team was in a shambles, how he guided us to victory was really fascinating," Lal, who had the opportunity of watching the innings from the other end, reminisces.

    But did it actually work as a motivator? May be, may be not. But Lal says it definitely boosted their confidence. "That's why it remains special even after thirty years. After that game, we knew we would be able to move on, but then semifinals were not in our dreams," he points out.

    Once the captain was back in the dressing room, all that followed was emotional outburst. "We were genuinely happy. With our heads pushed to the wall, we were looking for a turnaround and 175 was the reason to be happy," the former cricketer says with laughter.

    In those days, when television was yet to conquer the household, radio was the only tool to realize that something big had happened far far away. The millions cheered hoping for a better future.

    And, what followed thereafter is history. But even after thirty years, as his teammates look back at the days bygone, the 175 by the Haryana Hurricane remains special. After all, after years of being 'underdogs' India were actually back in the fray.

    In the era of T20 cricket, where big hits and quick runs have become the orders of the day, the unbeaten knock of 175 will always remain a milestone, for its resemblance, impact and of course result.

    Now, even after the Dhoni brigade deliver the goods, the veterans of the game often compare their heroics with Kapil's 175. "You can't deny that innings gave Indian cricket a new identity," a former cricketer says.

    So, even after India have won another World Cup; have ranked No.1 in Tests, Kapil's 175 remains not out.
    Perhaps, such is the magic of the 'gentleman's game'!
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!

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    what an match to see. still like awesome. what an innings. unforgettable.

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