Monday, April 4, 2011

1983 v 2011

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Which one is a greater achievement. India winning the 1983 Prudential Cup completely out of the blue or India winning the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup under the weight of insane pressure from a billion people magnified a 100 times; to use Shahid Afridi's magnifying glass; by the relentless Indian media.

One was a fairy tale and the other a realistic goal achieved through dedication, careful planning and deliberate processes.

In one India beat all 4 previous World Cup winners in a sequence of high pressure games played in front of expectant (read demanding) crowds and in the other India beat the most fearsome, most intimidating, most talented team at the peak of their prowess

One had a ring of naivete and innocence to it the other had a ring of self awareness and self belief.

In one, the defining knock by the captain helped the team stay afloat and in the other the defining knock by the captain sealed one of the most fluent run chases in a world cup final. Both feats will take ages to emulate.

One had Mohinder Amarnath the other had Yuvraj Singh playing more or less the same roles.

One had a team who were out to enjoy, have fun and generally just glad to be in esteemed company the other had a team struck with anxiety attacks under the pressure of expectations

In one, Ravi Shastri was on mute, in the other we weren't so lucky.

One changed Indian cricket forever the other confirmed India as a changed team.

One was achieved by the best Test team in the world the other was achieved by defeating the best Test team in the World.

Those who watched both the World Cups, will be the best judges to call this one. To say which is the greater achievement in Indian cricket.

As for me, I need a few more samples to say for sure.

Other World Cup posts...

  1. India is now Dhoni
  2. Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar
  3. It's Dhoni's turn


Govind Raj said...

In one, Ravi Shastri was on mute, in the other we weren't so lucky. Wow !

Rate, let us not which is or was better,
Savor, let us for it can't get any better !

straight point said...

i would rate 2011...

that team had the option to lose and nobody would have minded... but this team... specially after the 2007 debacle... *shudder*

Anonymous said...

Arey yaar... why not just continue savouring this win? Why the mainstream-media-like urge to compare A with B, or declare X is better than Y?

For me, the 1983 win will always remain a watershed event in the history of Indian cricket. It was a key inspiration for a future colossus like Tendulkar, and Dhoni himself acknowledged that current cricketers are deriving the benefits of the great achievements of prior generations.

At the same time, let's be honest... the MASSIVE pressure that modern Indian teams have faced, which reached an all-time peak at this WC given that we were playing in India, makes this team's achievement mighty awesome. And let's not forget the history-defying nature of this win: a) No team has won the WC at home b) No team has chased a higher total in a WC final c) No team has chased more than 225 under lights at the Wankhede.

So let's just continue to savour the realization of a dream!


Unknown said...

Gol, like I have already told you, 2011 is greater for me partly because of the expectations and the pressure on the team, and mainly because of the fact that I never had the 1983 experience, being born 5 years after that!

Both were great wins... the first one changing the landscape of cricket in India, the second one we don't know yet the effect it will have.

I will be truly able to say 2011 was greater if this win brings about one change that I hope to see. A lot of young and upcoming cricketers today limit their ambitions to playing in the IPL. When they start to realise that the going can get tough at the top, they contend themselves with IPL and Twenty20. I hope to see this win change that attitude... let those ambitions fly again. Aspire to play for Team India, win World Cups, be the best in Tests... I hope the emotions that came out on Saturday night from the most macho of our cricketers will inspire an entire generation to match and exceed them, something akin to 1983!

(P.S.: Loved that line about Ravi Shastri... very true!)

Golandaaz said...

Hello Doc, yes very well said

Golandaaz said...


Yes 2011 was under the pressure of massive expectations.

Golandaaz said...

Anon, I believe 83 was more history defying but then there wasn't much of a history back then

Golandaaz said...


Agree with you. time will reveal the true impact of this win. We know what 83 did.

Also thanks for planting the seeds for this post :-)

Vidooshak said...

1983 was for me the better one. When India won then, I was over-joyed and beyond myself. When India won this one, i simply let out a sigh of relief -- almost like a "Thank God they finally did what they were supposed to"...dunno why...but that's the way I felt...

This one felt like they were simply doing their job..the first one was a fairy tale an unexpected gift...beating the West Indies was just awesome.

Those who weren't born then just didn't know how good the West Indies were and how bad India was.

But as far as accomplishment from a team perspective and not my perspective goes, 2011 was definitely the better one. The amount of cricket these guys played, the relentless scrutiny, the irritating media questions devoid of any substance, annoying fans, travel, security, felicitations, inaugurations, adverts, etc...these guys are definitely better.

Freehit said...

Really hard to compare due to the difference of circumstances. One hardly had any media or TV coverage. So, many people who were alive then, have only heard about it, due to there being very few TVs.

In the other, every move, every net session was looked on as a signal of things to come. Hard to compare, for me 2011 is unparellel. Not only because I wasn't born in 1983, but because I followed this team to Ahmedabad and Mohali for the QF n SF. It felt extra special, because team won when I was behind them. Hard to explain in words, hope you get it. :)

Golandaaz said...

Freehit, I am sure I understand. Especially since you were there.

But your statement

"So, many people who were alive then, have only heard about it, due to there being very few TVs."

You make me feel ancient man :-(

Abhay said...


Great blog. And great comments by everybody else. A win is a win is a win. I couldn't get enough of it then, I can't get enough of it now.

In 1983, India was under a massive inferiority complex, we were treated as second class citizens in every aspect sports (especially cricket), not an financial power, hangover from the British Raj. Treated as a backward country. So in many ways India's cricketing record reflected our socio-economic status in the world. Like we were in a prison of defeatism and the 1983 win gave us a sense of freedom, respect and all that good stuff.

2011 is the exact opposite. A leader in many areas, India is a place to do business, schools, movies you name it. A place to be. Now the world looks up to us for solutions. This is reflected in how Sehwag opens with a four most of the world cup matches or how Gambhir/Dhoni play agressively in the finals. They believe they can win. I love this new India, I love this new team.

But at the same time, watching 83 world cup hudled in a chawl with 20 people in a 200sq ft flat and eating laddoo for celebration cannot be matched. Magical.

This is a great time to be Indian and even a greater time watch some more exciting cricket in the future.

To quote from the wizard of oz (slightly modified) : We are not Anpad anymore.

2015 : Can't wait.

Golandaaz said...


Thanks for your comments!

You have put it very beautifully. Hope you will visit the blog regularly :-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog and an excellent post. IMHO both victories had their own flavor. The 83 victory is special as it allowed us to dream of a possible 2011(my personal view).
What was interesting about this WC campaign for India was that the team seemed to be applying the principle of least effort. In no match did we do more than what was required to win. It had a different flavor than the usual shock and awe principle that the Australians so effectively employed in the last three WC's. All of the Indian matches were nail biting and engaging.
One huge positive from this victory is that during the course of the tournament India gradually rose above the complacency of relying on heroics of a single individual to actually performing like a team. The climax could not have been any better where most of the questions that have been around for a while now about the future of Indian cricket post Sachin, Dravid and VVS were answered assertively.

Golandaaz said...

Anonymous, thanks for your comments.

In hindsight, it does seem that way; that India did just about enough to win and not more. However as the campaign was unfolding in real time, it looked as if India were stumbling and not entirely by design

Anonymous said...

Thats true and those stumbles were not by design but the entropy introduced by the system.