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West Indies had best team but they weren't God: Madan Lal

Madan Lal, who was an integral part of the World Cup-winning Indian team, on Thursday jogged down the

Madan Lal

Sentinel Digital Desk

New Delhi: Madan Lal, who was an integral part of the World Cup-winning Indian team, on Thursday jogged down the memory lane to recall one of the best wins, not just in the history of Indian cricket but world cricket as well.

"We won one match in 1975 and one in 1979 editions of the World Cup. So, we were underdogs going into 1983. That's why our victory in England was one of the biggest wins in Indian cricket and also in world cricket," Lal told IANS in an exclusive interview.

"We entered the World Cup without any pressure. People were thinking that it would be good enough for us if we win one or two games. But as it happens in life, if you put your best foot forward, things fall in place. That's what happened with us. Everyone in the team wanted to do well for the country."

With nothing to lose, Kapil Dev and his troops decided to give it their all. They started off their campaign in an emphatic manner, defeating two-time champions West Indies by 34 runs on June 9 at the Old Trafford, which later on became a good hunting ground for the Indian team.

"We had defeated West Indies in an ODI game in 1982. So, we knew we could defeat them. We knew in England, small targets can be defended and so, when we started our campaign and won the first match, it gave us a lot of confidence," said the 69-year-old.

One of the noticeable things about the 1983 World Cup was the gap between the matches. India had a gap of only a day in between matches and considering they were of 60 overs, fitness issues might have come into play.

However, Lal believes it was not the case. "There was no fitness issue. All the players in the team were extremely fit. We were one of the best fielding sides."

"A gap of one day was enough for us. It kept us in rythym, it kept us fresh. In England the weather is cold and that's why you don't feel that much tired. Our in between journeys were no longer than that of three or three and a half hours. So, fitness and fatigue were not an issue for us.

"In a country like India, you need a gap of at least two days because the weather is hot," he added. IANS

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