One of the greatest cricketers produced by India, former captain, and 1983 World Cup winner Kapil Dev is celebrating his 61st birthday on Jan 6. He is widely considered to be the best all-rounder to come out from India and first truly fast bowler after the likes of Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh played for the country in the 1930s. Kapil had a long career for India from 1979-1994 and created many records during his tenure.
His best triumph came in 1983 when he led an Indian team that had previously won just two matches in two editions of World Cup, to the pinnacle of glory, that too winning the finals at Lord’s against two-time winners, the West Indies. Though he was primarily a bowler, Kapil was also famous for his aggressive batsmanship and his trademark and unique Natraj shot, which saw him get on his back foot, with his other leg high in the air, and ball pulled towards midwicket with immense power.
Kapil Dev a big fan of Rohit Sharma’s Natraj shot
The journey of Kapil Dev’s 1983 World cup winning team will be encapsulated by Bollywood director in the movie ‘83’, which stars Ranveer Singh in the titular role. The movie is supposed to release later this year and is one of the most awaited films given the nostalgia and history associated with it. Meanwhile, Kapil Dev also talked about his famous Natraj shot and named the current batsman who played it the best.
“I have never thought about that. They can all play it better than I did. I saw Rohit Sharma play the shot a couple of times. I liked how he played it. But again, the current lot of cricketers are very smart, talented and they know how to do things,” Kapil was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
The all-rounder also talked about how the shot came to be known as the Natraj Shot, “One of the writers must have named it. They are so smart. I vaguely remember that it was some writer from South India who had published my picture playing that shot next to the picture of God Natraj and from there it got popular. To be honest, I never planned any shot. Things just happened while playing on the field,” he added.
Kapil also said that he is not in favor of tinkering with the real format of the game, the Test cricket, as ICC has floated a proposal of mandating Tests to four-day affairs starting 2023. However, the proposal has made with a negative response from current and former players of the game, who feel such modifications with the purest form of the game will dilute it.
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