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'We trusted our skills and changed the wind'
June 19, 2008 17:59 IST
Former India stumper Syed Kirmani, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad, said the dream to hoist the tricolour at Lord's, inspired 'Kapil's Devils' to win the final against two-time champions West Indies [Images].
"When we left India, we thought reaching the knock-out stage would be a great achievement. At that time we never thought of winning the Cup," Kirmani said in the run-up to the silver jubilee celebrations of the historic triumph.
"We had a dream to hoist the national flag at Lord's. But when we left, there was no hope of it. However, luck was with us and eventually things changed and we wrote the golden chapter in India's cricketing history.
"We were the fourth weakest team in the tournament and we never hoped that we would create history," he added.
In a 12-year illustrious career, Kirmani played 88 Tests and 49 ODI matches. Apart from winning the Cup, he also achieved a personal milestone in the tournament when he pouched three catches and two stumpings in a league encounter against Zimbabwe.
In that very match, the former India selector also showed his prowess with the bat scoring 24 runs. Along with skipper Kapil Dev [Images], he shared a record ninth-wicket unbeaten stand of 126 runs to pull out India of trouble and register a 31-run victory.
Asked about India's winning chances in the final against the 1975 and 1979 World Champions, he said, "We scored 183 runs, which was not enough to beat the West Indies, who were the favourites. Nevertheless, we were not bothered about winning or losing because reaching the final was a great achievement for us. We trusted our skills and eventually we changed the wind."
Though India scored only 183 runs in the final, an inspiring bowling performance by Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal did wonders as the formidable Caribbean batting line-up collapsed for 140 runs.
"We won against West Indies in a league match and this gave us confidence to do our best in each match," said Kirmani, who was adjudged the best wicketkeeper of the tournament, registering 14 dismissals in eight matches.
"Getting the silver gloves and silver ball from great wicketkeeper Godfrey Evans was an honour for me. I cannot forget that moment ever in my life," he added.
Asked about the atmosphere of the dressing room during the final, he said, "There was no tension as nobody felt the pressure. Mood was very positive and all the players were enjoying the match.
"To tell you the truth we had nothing to lose, so we gave our best shot in every match. We were positive which paid dividends for us."