The All-Round Maestro Kapil Dev

The All-Round Maestro Kapil Dev

The historical image of lifting the 1983 World Cup trophy at Lord’s balcony brings a smiling face to mind. Whenever we recall this World Cup, the name of Kapil Dev, the great all-rounder who became India’s first, inevitably surfaces.

Kapil Dev, born on January 6, 1959, in India, is undeniably one such figure. His journey through the world of cricket is nothing short of extraordinary, marked by records, achievements, and a leadership style that continues to inspire.  it was evident that he possessed an innate talent for cricket. His journey began on the streets and fields of Chandigarh, where he honed his skills as a cricketer. Little did the world know that this young boy would grow up to become one of the greatest all-rounders the game has ever seen.

Domestic Career

Kapil Dev burst onto the cricket scene with a remarkable debut for Haryana in November 1975, facing off against Punjab. He left an indelible mark by securing a stunning 6-wicket haul, limiting Punjab to a mere 63 runs and paving the way for Haryana’s victory. This extraordinary season culminated with Kapil Dev amassing 121 wickets in 30 matches.

The 1976–77 season commenced with a bang as Kapil Dev delivered an impressive performance against Jammu & Kashmir, capturing 8/36 in a victorious effort. While his performance during the rest of the season was relatively modest, Haryana made it to the pre-quarterfinals. In a memorable innings, Kapil Dev achieved his personal best with figures of 8/20 in just 9 overs during the second innings, dismissing Bengal for a mere 58 runs in under 19 overs. However, Haryana’s journey was halted by Bombay in the quarter-finals.

Kapil Dev commenced the 1977–78 season on a high note, securing 8/38 in the first innings against Services. With three additional wickets in the second innings, he clinched his first-ever 10-wicket haul in first-class cricket, a feat he would later repeat twice in Test cricket. His remarkable performance earned him a spot in the Irani Trophy, Duleep Trophy, and Wills Trophy matches, where he continued to shine with 23 wickets in 4 matches.

In the 1978–79 season, Haryana faced Bengal once again in the pre-quarterfinal match, following a somewhat lackluster season for Kapil Dev with just 12 wickets from 4 matches. Despite his contribution of two half-centuries in the group stage matches, Haryana fell short in the pre-quarterfinals. Kapil Dev made a noteworthy impact in the Irani Trophy match, scoring 62 runs and showcasing his fielding prowess with 5 catches as the Rest of India XI defeated Karnataka. His outstanding performance in the Duleep Trophy finals, where he took 7/65 in 24 overs during the first innings, brought him into the national spotlight. Kapil Dev earned a place in the North Zone squad for the Deodhar Trophy and Wills Trophy for the first time, and he made his debut in the Test arena that season against Pakistan.

In the 1979–80 season, Kapil Dev exhibited his batting skills with a maiden century against Delhi, achieving his career-best score of 193. As he took on the role of captain for Haryana in the pre-quarterfinal match against Uttar Pradesh, he also displayed his prowess as a bowler by securing a five-wicket haul in the second innings, propelling Haryana to the quarterfinals, where they eventually succumbed to Karnataka. With Kapil Dev solidifying his position in the Indian national squad, his appearances in domestic matches became increasingly infrequent.


Kapil Dev was a right-arm pace bowler renowned for his elegant bowling action and potent outswinger. He served as India’s primary strike bowler for the majority of his career. During the 1980s, he honed a remarkable inswinging yorker, which he wielded with great effectiveness, particularly against lower-order batsmen.

As a batsman, Kapil Dev possessed a natural ability to strike the ball crisply. He was proficient in both hooking and driving, making him a versatile and dangerous batsman in various situations.

Kapil Dev was affectionately known as “The Haryana Hurricane” and represented the Haryana cricket team in domestic cricket.

Bowling style

Kapil Dev, a formidable fast bowler, was renowned for his natural outswinger. His side-on action troubled right-handers, leading to catches in the off-side or LBW and bowled dismissals. He evolved with a less side-on action, mastering an inswinger, though the leg-cutter remained a challenge.

By 1983, he had around 250 Test wickets, on course to be a top wicket-taker. Despite knee surgery in 1984 affecting his jump, he stayed dedicated. A potent bowler for a decade, he became the second to claim 400 Test wickets in 1991–92 against Australia, taking 25 wickets.

International Career

Dev’s Test debut was in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in October 1978. Despite modest figures, he impressed with his pace and bouncers. His first wicket was Sadiq Mohammad, showcasing his outswinger. He excelled with bat and ball, hitting India’s fastest Test half-century and taking 5-wicket hauls. Notably, he led India to two wins against Pakistan. His 1980–81 Australia tour saw a heroic bowling performance, while his ODI start was slower. In 1981–82, he shone against England, scoring, taking wickets, and earning Man of the Series. He continued his success against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, earning captaincy after a tough Pakistan tour.


1983 World Cup Champions

India, after losing the toss, faced the formidable West Indies bowling attack. Gavaskar fell early, while Srikkanth and Amarnath added some runs. Marshall dismissed Srikkanth and Holding bowled Amarnath. Yashpal Sharma followed, and India stumbled at 111/6. Captain Kapil Dev made 15 but got caught. India reached 183 with Patil’s 27. Madan Lal contributed 17, and the 10th wicket added 22 before Holding dismissed Kirmani. West Indies’ Roberts claimed three wickets, while Marshall, Holding, and Gomes took two each.

Chasing 184, Sandhu bowled Greenidge early. Haynes and Richards went past 50, but Lal removed them, and Gomes fell to him as well. Dev caught Lloyd, and Bacchus was out. Amarnath dismissed Dujon and Marshall, while Kapil Dev got Roberts and Holding. West Indies managed 140, giving India a 43-run victory, securing their first World Cup. India’s bowlers stunned the invincible West Indies. Amarnath and Lal took three wickets each, while Sandhu took two. Amarnath was named the Man of the Match, with no “Man of the Series” award in 1983.

Match Details

India 183 (54.4 Overs)

Krishnamachari 38 (57
Andy Roberts 3/32 (10)

West Indies  140 (52 Overs)

Sir Vivian Richards 33 (28)
Mohinder Amarnath 3/12 (7)

Indian Innings

Sunil Gavaskar c Dujon b Roberts 2 14 12 0 0 10
Krishnamachari Srikkanth  lbw b Marshall 38 82 57 7 1 66.66
Mohinder Amarnath b Holding 26 108 80 3 0 32.5
Yashpal Sharma c sub (Logie) b Gomes 11 45 32 1 0 34.37
Sandeep Patil c Gomes b Garner 27 48 29 0 1 93.1
Kapil Dev (c) c Holding b Gomes 15 10 8 3 0 187.5
Kirti Azad c Garner b Roberts 0 3 3 0 0 0
Roger Binny c Garner b Roberts 2 9 8 0 0 25
Madan Lal b Marshall 17 31 27 0 1 62.96
Syed Kirmani (wk) b Holding 14 55 43 0 0 32.55
Balwinder Sandhu not out 11 42 30 1 0 36.66
Extras (b 5, lb 5, w 9, nb 1) 20
Total (all out; 54.4 overs) 183 (3.34 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Andy Roberts 10 3 32 3 3.2
Joel Garner 12 4 24 1 2
Malcolm Marshall 11 1 24 2 2.18
Michael Holding 9.4 2 26 2 2.68
Larry Gomes 11 1 49 2 4.45
Viv Richards 1 0 8 0 8

West Indies Innings

Gordon Greenidge b Sandhu 1 11 12 0 0 8.33
Desmond Haynes c Binny b Madan Lal 13 45 33 2 0 39.39
Viv Richards c Kapil Dev b Madan Lal 33 42 28 7 0 117.85
Clive Lloyd (c) c Kapil Dev b Binny 8 32 17 1 0 47.05
Larry Gomes c Gavaskar b Madan Lal 5 18 16 0 0 31.25
Faoud Bacchus c Kirmani b Sandhu 8 37 25 0 0 32
Jeff Dujon (wk) b Amarnath 25 94 73 0 1 34.24
Malcolm Marshall c Gavaskar b Amarnath 18 73 51 0 0 35.29
Andy Roberts lbw b Kapil Dev 4 16 14 0 0 28.57
Joel Garner not out 5 34 19 0 0 26.31
Michael Holding lbw b Amarnath 6 28 24 0 0 25
Extras (lb 4, w 10) 14
Total (all out; 52 overs) 140 (2.69 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Kapil Dev 11 4 21 1 1.9
Balwinder Sandhu 9 1 32 2 3.55
Madan Lal 12 2 31 3 2.58
Roger Binny 10 1 23 1 2.3
Mohinder Amarnath 7 0 12 3 1.71
Kirti Azad 3 0 7 0 2.33


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