Kapil Dev is the best all-rounder that the world has witnessed. Unstoppable neither by bat nor the bowl, his illustrious career has given many world-class performances. Not to forget the first World Cup in 1983. To define his 16-year career into moments is tough, but here are his top 5 batting performances across formats.
5. 77* Vs England, Lords 1990
Dev has scored 8 centuries in Test and 1 in ODI’s. However, his top 5 innings do not consist of just his centuries. Hence the innings that make it on the 5th position is the one he played against England in 1990 at Lords.
Dev scored an unbeaten 77 in the first innings, but what makes the inning special? India was trailing badly and was reduced to 230/9. They needed to get to 254 to avoid following on. Dev then took the matter into his own hands; he was batting on 53 at that time. He then smashes 4 consecutive sixes to avoid following on.
It was a great sight for the viewers as this approach was new to world cricket and Dev hammered each ball in the stands and celebrated this with a gesture by hand.
This innings to date remains one of his best innings.
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4. 73 vs Pakistan, Karachi 1982
Pakistan is always a special opponent, and a tricky one as well given the pressure of the match. Kapil was fearless as usual with his batting smashed 50 of just 30 balls.
It was the fastest 50 in Indian cricket. This record is intact to date. That inning was applauded by many pundits. It was a brave, fearless cricket without risks and luck. Kapil got dismissed for 73 in the same innings.
3. 129 vs South Africa, Port Elizabeth 1992
Kapil Dev smashed his best hundred in a foreign land in 1992. HE scored 129 against South Africa at Port Elizabeth. South African captain Kepler Wessels said, “I have never seen anyone hitting the cricket ball so hard”. It was Dev’s last century in his career and if you look at the knock then the sound of the bat is a thing of beauty.
India was 31-6 when Kapil came to bat and from that situation, he took India to a decent score of 210. It was one of the finest Kapil Dev innings as he once again took care of India in their desperate times.
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2. 163 vs Sri Lanka, Kanpur 1986
The second on the list is Kapil’s knock of 163 against Sri Lanka. It was his highest Test score and he smashed this score in just 165 balls with a strike rate of almost 100.
It might not feel amusing to see a strike rate of 100 in the test as the game has evolved, but at a time when proper batsmen used to bat at a strike rate 0f 50 and that was considered good, then a middle-order batsman striking the ball at a rate of 100 and with class and elegance was a rare and beautiful sight to watch.
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1. 175* vs Zimbabwe, 1983
The best ODI innings ever as described by man, but sadly watched by none was Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe. India was in a do-or-die situation against Zimbabwe. Had they lost the match they would have been eliminated from the World Cup.
India was 17/5 and then, they thanked the lord that BCC was on strike, so that they were saved from public humiliation. Then the captain Kapil Dev stepped onto the pitch. He smashed the bowlers everywhere on the ground.
He played such an effortless inning during such a tense situation. His innings ignited the hopes of the World Cup in the team as well as 1 billion people. This match made Kapil dev 'The Kapil Dev' he smashed Zimbabwe bowlers out of the park and scored 175 not out which is considered to be the best ODI innings ever.