Sunil Gavaskar column: Kapil's knock inspired us to win 1983 World Cup, now can Australia draw inspiration from Maxwell?

Australia could well do the same after such a phenomenal effort from Maxwell

By Sunil Gavaskar

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Indian legend Kapil Dev and Australian star Glenn Maxwell. — X
Indian legend Kapil Dev and Australian star Glenn Maxwell. — X

Published: Thu 9 Nov 2023, 8:30 AM

After one of the most astonishing innings in World Cup history by Glenn Maxwell, can we expect the rest of the games to reach the same level of excellence? Or even come anywhere close to it?

If indeed, one of the games produces something even remotely similar then this will be a truly unforgettable World Cup, never mind who wins it.

As luck would have it, the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team had gathered for an event in Delhi that evening and while we didn't actually see Maxwell's innings, we all could relate to it because we had been blessed to have been there when our skipper (Kapil Dev) got 175 not out after we had been reduced to a score of 17 for 5 wickets.

The team, inspired by the innings and also sensing a change in fortunes, then went on to win the World Cup.

Australia could well do the same after such a phenomenal effort and poor Afghanistan will have to lift themselves up in a superhuman effort for their last game and try and qualify for the knockouts.

New Zealand too, after a string of defeats brought about more by some ordinary captaincy than anything else, will also need to find extra motivation to beat the already eliminated Sri Lanka team to keep themselves in the hunt for a place in the semifinals.

It's not just the captain but also the New Zealand coach that needs to be asked why, despite rain clouds hovering and knowing that the DL method will favour the team batting second, the skipper decided to go with spinners at both ends and thus finished the 20th over, the minimum required for the DL method to come into play.

The rains came down almost immediately and Pakistan got a lifeline by winning by the DL method.

Even in the earlier games it was baffling why Jimmy Neesham who bowls the perfect pace and length for batters to hit into the stands was given the ball especially in the final overs. He may get the odd wicket but it usually comes at a heavy price.

The weather may also play a part and if New Zealand aren't cricket smart they could be packing their bags for the long trip home.


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