Gaikwad, in a special conversation with News18.com, talked about the story of India becoming the world champion for the first time, the role of Kapil Dev, Roger Binny and Mohinder Amarnath in it. Referring to the 1975 ODI World Cup, Gaikwad said that then West Indies and Australia met in the final and we were watching the final in the stadium. Then Amarnath told me that Anshu would be great if we also play the final of the World Cup. His wish was fulfilled after 8 years. On June 25, 1983, we played the final at Lord’s and defeated two-time world champion West Indies to win the title.
Amarnath was the man of the match in the World Cup final
Then 32-year-old Amarnath played an important role in India’s victory. He was the man of the match in the semi-final and title match against England due to his all-round game. Amarnath broke the back of West Indies’ batting with his slow medium pace in the final. He took three wickets for 12 runs with 26 runs in the match. In the 1983 World Cup, Amarnath took 8 wickets at an average of 22.25. Along with this, he also scored 237 runs.
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Amarnath was hardworking and serious player: Gaikwad
Gaikwad told that when the Indian team returned to the country after becoming the world champion, I congratulated Kapil Dev and Jimmy (Amarnath). I was very close to Mohinder Amarnath. He was a very hard working and serious player. His pace was not very high, but there was a lot of variety in his medium pace bowling. He had very good control and used to bowl with accurate line length. He was the ideal bowler according to the conditions of England. He then used to play county cricket in England every season. He knew which line and length was bowled here and he proved it.
‘Binny’s biggest strength was swing bowling’
The former Indian batsman further said that then no one thought that we would become world champions. For a time it seemed that everything was over. But one match changed the situation and then we became world champions. I was not a part of that team, but I was very happy. He also praised all-rounder Roger Binny. Binny was the highest bowler with 18 wickets in that World Cup.
Gaikwad said that the biggest strength of Roger’s bowling was the movement. They didn’t have the pace like the West Indies fast bowlers, but the control was amazing. He got the benefit of this and he became a big reason for the success of the team.
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He said that India had become champion then because of the contribution of every player. Barring Kapil Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe, hardly any Indian has won a match on his own.