Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj is a former Indian cricketer who used to be a middle-order batter and fast-medium bowler. In 2002, Wisden named Kapil Dev as the Indian Cricketer of the Century.
- Full Name: Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj
- Born: January 6, 1959
- Age: 64
- Height: 6 ft (183cm)
- Nationality: Indian
- Batting Style: Right Handed
- Bowling Style: Right Arm Fast Medium
Check out Kapil Dev’s great batting stats.
Check out Kapil Dev’s bowling career.
India won their first Cricket World Cup in 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev. He holds the record of winning the World Cup as the youngest(24) Captain. At the time of his retirement in 1994, he used to hold so many records, such as the highest number of wickets in Test Cricket.
Kapil Dev’s debut test match was against Pakistan in 1978. In his debut series, he was unable to show any remarkable performance. But this young talent amazed everyone when he made the fastest test half-century by taking only 33 balls. He was the first Indian player to do that.
In the same year, he took a total of 16 wickets against England. The 1979 Cricket World Cup was a disaster for both team India and Kapil Dev. From that, Dev started preparing him for the 1983 World Cup. The preparation was obvious as he took 28 wickets against Australia and scored 212 runs. Within a couple of years, Dev made himself one of the best all-rounders of all time.
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1983 World Cup
He was appointed as the Indian captain in 1982 against Sri Lanka. And he was able to show his skills after that. When he stepped into the World Cup, he was just an ordinary player with 608 runs and 34 wickets. India started their journey quite well, but the problem occurred when they faced Australia and West Indies(second time). The following two matches were crucial for India as they needed to win.
There was the match against Zimbabwe, where Dev showed a tremendous inning by scoring 175 runs off 138 balls. Team India made 17 runs by their 5th wicket when Dev came to bat. In the semifinals, the opponent was England, and Dev’s three wickets helped India to stop England at 213 runs. Top-order batters played well, and India won the match with 6 wickets.
In the final, India had to face West Indies. Indies won the toss and chose to bowl first. India looked confident, but they could only make 183 runs. But, it was the brilliance of Indian bowling that they could stop Indies at 130 runs. And Kapil Dev lifted the trophy for the first time and as the youngest captain.
After the World Cup, there was a Test series against West Indies, and India lost that series by 3-0 and the ODI series by 5-0. Though Dev was able to make his best bowling performance, he disappointed the selectors, and they made Sunil Gavaskar the Indian captain in 1984.
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Return To Captain
As Gavaskar was unable to deliver a good captaincy, Dev was reappointed as captain in 1985. It was 1986, and India won against England in a test series. At that time, there was a test match that tied, and Dev was the man of the match along with Dean Jones.
In the 1987 Cricket World Cup, Kapil Dev was again the captain of team India. There was a match against Australia, where Dev agreed to increase two runs of Australia because there was a problem with the Umpire’s signal. The score went to 270 from 268. And India made 269, just lost the match by 1 run. There were many players who appreciated Dev’s sportsmanship.
India was able to reach the semi-finals but lost to England, and the whole blame came to Dev. After this incident, he was again removed from his position as the captain. This was the last match where he was the captain, later in the Pakistan tour, he did the vice-captaincy.
Though he was removed as the captain, his performance as an all-rounder was well enough to keep him on the team. There was a match against England where Dev hit four sixes in succession, and India past the follow-on. Dickie Bird, an English Umpire, called Dev one of the greatest all-rounders of all time.
In 1992, he again represented India but not as the captain but as a player. He showed a brilliant strike rate of 125.00 and also bowled well. His last years were not significant enough, but at the time of his retirement, he was the highest wicket-taker in Test matches and broke the record of Richard Hadlee.
In 1999, Kapil Dev was appointed as the Indian national cricket team coach. But, the coaching journey of Dev was not good as India lost a couple of major series. Then there was a controversy over match-fixing against Manoj Prabhakar (later dismissed). After this controversy, Dev resigned from his position and stated,
“I bid adieu to the game that gave me so much and then took a great deal of it away on the mere hearsay of a third party.”
In 2004, Kapil Dev returned as the bowling coach of team India.
In 2006, he became the chairman of the National Cricket Academy. But, in 2007, he was removed from the position because he joined the upstart Indian Cricket League. After five years, in 2012, he left ICL to show his support towards BCCI.
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There were so many ups and downs throughout the career of Kapil Dev. But, there was one thing that nobody could change, say or blame him. The reason is that Kapil Dev gave the first World Cup trophy in 1983, and the match against Zimbabwe where he scored 175 runs. As long as there is Cricket, Kapil Dev will be remembered as he lifted a World Cup trophy.
Kapil Dev won a lot of awards throughout his life journey.
- Arjuna Award
- Padma Shri
- Wisden Cricketer of the Year
- Padma Bhushan
- Wisden Indian Cricketer of the Century
- ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
- Bharat Gaurav Award
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