Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team square off against the West Indies in Old Trafford, Manchester on Wednesday. The clash has a lot of weight on both sides. A win for India sees them come closer to the semi-final while a loss for the West Indies will result in their elimination. West Indies has not defeated India in a World Cup for 27 years, with their last win coming in Wellington in the 1992 World Cup. However, the clash between India and West Indies in England will be the first encounter since the glorious 1983 World Cup and fans in Old Trafford on Wednesday will experience some nostalgia.
On June 25, 1983, West Indies were the supreme team in the world of cricket while India was making some small strides. West Indies possessed a team where batting and bowling were brilliant and intimidating. For India, there was individual brilliance. India had already made a mark by beating the likes of West Indies, England and Australia in the league stages and the team, which had odds of 33-1 to win the title, had stunned the world and reached the final for the first time.
West Indies had won the 1975 and 1979 World Cup final and they were gunning for a hat-trick. India batted first and managed a total of 183 with Kris Srikkanth scoring 38 and some late order contributions from the tail giving the bowlers something to defend. Sir Viv Richards started well and he had smashed 31 in quick time. However, then came the moment. Richards top-edged a short ball from Madan Lal and Kapil Dev, running backwards took the catch which changed the match.
Mohinder Amarnath took 3/12 and India won the match by 43 runs to break the West Indies dominance. The win put India on the cricketing world map. The win made cricket a religion for the billions of Indians. June 25 changed the way how cricket would be perceived.
After 36 years, the tables have turned. West Indies are a side on the decline, with occasional spurts of brilliance. India is like a well-oiled machine who is capable of beating any team in any condition. However, the contest in Old Trafford will be remembered for what India achieved 36 years ago and the fans would be hoping the nostalgia is relived.