Proud of my team, we created history: Kapil Dev on World Cup triumph

The former India World Cup-winning skipper also said that the current Indian cricketers have enormous self-belief when compared to his generation of cricketers.

Kapil Dev said playing the World Cup was never a pressure, it was a pleasure.   -  V.V. Krishnan

Former India World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev on Saturday said current Indian cricketers have enormous self-belief when compared to his generation of cricketers.

"I believe the Indian team has come a long way. The self-belief has changed. In our time, the self-belief wasn't as good as what today's cricketers have. I must also say self-belief has increased over a period of time. When you are playing well, you are confident and not afraid of anything and your self-belief increases," Kapil said during the Unacademy Summit, a three-day conclave for civil services aspirants, co-hosted by The Hindu Group.

Kapil, who overcame several odds to become one of the greatest all-rounders encouraged youngsters to pursue their dreams and gave an example of how current India coach Ravi Shastri became successful through sheer hard work.

India's 1983 World Cup story in sketches  

"Youngsters need to work hard. The most beautiful thing is taking the first step forward. When you have taken the first step, believe in yourself. The experience will give you a lot of confidence but hard work will eventually win," the legendary fast bowler said. 

"Like I always used to say, Ravi Shastri wasn't very talented but he was very hard working. In my 20-30 years, I think he is one of those cricketers whom all the people used to say hai, hai (down, down) but he was so determined... Those are the people you really love. Somebody like very talented, he said he can do it but without hard work, it will never come as a better result.

"Somebody like Vinod Kambli. I thought he was very very talented, but if there is no hard work and self-belief then your talent is not going to give you the better result. The next generation you have to tell them beautiful stories, things what happened and rest they have to work hard. Every generation is more talented but they have to work more harder. And that's how the world is going to go ahead," he added. 

History at Lord's

On June 25th, 1983, exactly 37 years ago, India under the captaincy of Kapil went on to upstage the mighty West Indies to win its maiden World Cup trophy. Recalling the feat at Lord's, Kapil revealed that he didn't believe in having a 'plan B' and that his job was to motivate the team. 

"Firstly one has to understand that you are not going to win the World Cup playing just one match. You have to win a series of matches, it can go up and down and that's what the championship is all about. When we won the 1983 World Cup, we didn't win just one match. We tried to win every match and every match we wanted to do better because we were enjoying and that's what happened. My thought process on the field as a cricketer was totally different," he said.

World Cup 1983: Meet Kapil's Devils!  

"After half-way through we had to win. I always believe in plan A because then the options are not there... Like when you have a lot of options, weakness emerges in the team or within yourself. I will say our team was not good enough up to one level. Because once they came to know they are strong and good enough, that was the cherry on the cake. After that, it was difficult for me to control the team.

"We were mentally strong enough and that's what the 1983 team was all about. Rest is history and it's good to talk about that. I am proud of my team, we created history and people can talk about that. Playing the World Cup was never a pressure, it was a pleasure," he said. 

India's greatest fast-bowling allrounder defined the role of best players before advising young cricketers to build a strong character.

"Best players should be able to play whichever position the captain needs. Team liking is more important than personal liking. Nobody can make a hundred or take a five-wicket haul every day and one should go back to the basics. One needs to have a character and building the character is important," he said.

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