Former Indian wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani had a funny story to share that happened during the match where Kapil Dev played one of the greatest bats of all time during the 1983 World Cup.

India faced Zimbabwe in what was likely to be a knockout for Kapil & Co. and got off to a terrible start. Overall, Kirmani was ranked No. 10 for India, so whenever they batted, he would take his time and relax in the dressing room.

However, speaking to Star Sports, Syed Kirmani opened up about how he prepared quickly as India collapsed against Zimbabwe, losing five wickets for just 17 runs. He said:

“They never considered me an all-rounder, so there were seven all-rounders, and I was batting in order. So, against Zimbabwe when Kapil Dev won the toss and decided to bat, I relaxed a bit and was getting ready for a good breakfast and a good shower. Suddenly there were shouts of ‘Bad Up’ “Kerry!” from my teammates and I ignored it because they used to pull my legs. But when those cheers were repeated, I was a bit surprised. I went and checked the scoreboard and when I saw it was 17/5, I was so shocked because the towel I was wearing slipped off.”

Kirmani and Kapil Dev added a crucial 126 runs for the ninth wicket and it was the wicket-keeper who ensured he survived till the end and gave the captain all the support he needed. He also probably got the best seat in the house to watch Kapil unleash himself on the opposition and added:

“I can’t even remember how fast I was able to bowl and if I had my breakfast because I went to bat at 120/8 (140/8). Kapil Dev was standing in the middle and you could understand the disappointment and what was going through his mind. He didn’t. I see a more devastating blow performed by a hitter in that situation.”

Sunil Gavaskar for Kapil Dev’s 175 *

Sunil Gavaskar was also present at the discussion and the legendary Indian opener claimed he had never seen a better innings than Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe.

There were no video footage of the game, thus only the audience present and the players were lucky enough to witness Kapil’s outstanding tutorials. On this Gavaskar said:

“I’ve seen many hundreds. I’ve seen Sachin score hundreds, Virat score hundreds, Mahi (Dhoni) score hundreds and even Veeru (Sehwag) score hundreds. But I’ve never seen an ODI innings better than that 175. These innings can’t be compared to anything.” .

That knock from the India captain prompted the team to continue on the path to winning the 1983 World Cup against all odds, beating the mighty West Indies team in the final.

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