As a young, impressionable trainee, Kapil Dev wanted more food at the camp. When asked why, he said, he was a fast bowler, and was in turn ridiculed and mocked at by the coach, who said that India never produced fast bowlers. This was the kind of back drop in which Kapil Dev Nikhanj picked 434 Test and 253 ODI wickets for India.
Kapil’s biggest asset was his out swinger that he bowled at will. Later, he also developed the inswinging yorker, and once famously remarked, “God gave me the outswinger, I had to develop the rest”. Towards the middle of his career, he also started developing as a useful batsman in the lower middle order, proving his worth in a tournament turning innings of 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup. Incidentally, he also captained India – sharing the same with Sunil Gavaskar – and led them to a World Cup triumph in 1983. His 5000 plus runs and 400 odd wickets in Tests made him an all rounder in the bracket of Imran Khan, Botham and Hadlee, and while his captaincy was not brilliant, it was much more attacking than some of his Indian predecessors.
He won the Indian cricketer of the century award in 2002, and went on to coach the Indian team post retirement. His regime at the top ended in tears, when he was one of the cricketers named by Manoj Prabhakar in the match fixing scandal. In 2007, he joined the Indian Cricket League as the executive member, a parallel body, unrecognized by the BCCI.
- India Vs Pakistan at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad - Oct 16, 1978
- Last played:
- India Vs New Zealand at Seddon Park, Hamilton - Mar 19, 1994
- India Vs Pakistan at Ayub National Stadium, Quetta - Oct 01, 1978
- Last played:
- India Vs West Indies at Nahar Singh Stadium (Mayur Stadium), Faridabad - Oct 17, 1994