The number of days it took both Sir Alastair Cook & Joe Root to break the 10,000 run barrier, incidentally the only two English two cricketers to do so. In comparison, it took the great Sachin Tendulkar 31 years & 326 days to breach that mark.
What a moment. 10,000 runs with the same shot as his 100 at Lord’s. Nasser Hussain, as he always does, chose the best possible words to sum it up,
The Tale of Three Legends—Joe Root, Sachin Tendulkar, and Alastair Cook
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/08/2022
What’s better? Since his debut, it has only taken Root 9 years & 171 days to achieve this landmark. In comparison, Jayawardene-Tendulkar-Gavaskar took about 14-15 years after their debuts and Younis-Chanderpaul about 17-18 years (And yes yes, you’re right. Root took 218 innings, Cook took 229, and England play more Tests than anybody else, but that isanother story).
Joe Root is definitely in the prime of his career. There was a time when Root was going to be uprooted from the Fab 4. With Root inability to convert fifties into hundreds, Babar Azam’s glorious entry, Kane Williamson’s prime, & the god-level cricket Steven Smith & Virat Kohli were producing between 2016-2018, surely Root’s status was being questioned.
Post the pandemic, Smith, Kohli, and Williamson’s needles have barely moved, both in terms of runs and hundreds.
Joe Root, on the other hand, has been on a different level. 21 Tests, 41 innings, 9 hundreds, 4 fifties, 56.23 average since January 2021. And these 9 hundreds include 5 daddy hundreds—228, 218, 186, 180*, and 153. The fact that he did this as England’s Test captain, when they only won 1 out of 17 Tests, in conditions such as Sri Lanka, India, West Indies, and Australia makes his run even more unbelievable.
So naturally the question arises. In the prime of his career, relieved of captaincy pressure, with possibly another 5-10 years ahead of him,can Joe Root break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 15,921 Test runs?
Root has left the rest of the Fab Four in his tracks 😲
Cook scored his first hundred at at the age of 21. In the next 7 years, he racked up 25 total. In his prime, his record read:
2009: 3 Tons
Tons in overseas Ashes win & subcontinental hundreds, Cook was at the top of the world. Even though he slowed down after 2013, by the time he climbed the 10K runs mountain, he had already amassed 28 Test centuries. And he was still young.
It looked like he was meant to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test hundreds.
But then he didn’t.
He fell short. In fact, very, very short. Not by one, or two, or even 10 hundreds. By 18 hundreds.
Alastair Cook would only score 5 more centuries and retire from international cricket at the age of 33.
In comparison, when Tendulkar was about 31 years & 157 days old, he had 33 centuries already.
However, his form was about to take a dip. Between December 2004 & May 2007, Tendulkar only scored one Test century, a 109 vs Sri Lanka in 2005.
Questions were asked. Retirement calls surrounded the media. He couldn’t seem to go past the nervous nineties in ODI cricket. Tennis elbow injuries, Greg Chappell controversy, 2007 ODI WC horror—you name it, it looked like the end for legend Sachin Tendulkar.
But then Sachin Tendulkar had a second wind (almost as long as other people’s entire career). From 2008-2011, he scored 14 Test centuries. That is 14 hundreds after the age of 35.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Joe Rooooooooooooot needs 5906 more Test runs to equal Tendulkar’s record of 15,921, which is a very long way to go
He’s scored 5912 runs in his last 69 Tests
You could add Trescothick’s entire career to Root’s and it would still be short of Tendulkar’s runs
As Mark Puttick pointed out, Trescothick scored 5825 runs in his entire 76-Test career. Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh’s most prolific Test run-scorer, has scored 5235 runs after 82 Tests and 15 years.
Root needs 5906 more.
He either needs to continue his golden touch for couple more years or needs to have a Tendulkar-esque final phase.
So, Can Joe Root Overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s Test Run Tally?
Cook retired early not because cricket had left him. He retired because he had given his everything to the game and achieved what every aspiring English player would dream of. He might even have been burnt out.
It was just a personal choice. Maybe he just wanted to give back to the roots at Essex. He is still going strong at County Cricket. Currently standing at 72 first class tons and having a stellar season.
Life is nonlinear.
Unlike statistics on a chart, real-life will have its share of twists and turns. There will be bumps on the road. Us armchair critics just jump to conclusions too quickly. No individual can continue to be at the peak of powers infinitely.
3 Indian Cricketers Who Deserve More Chances in T20I
Despite rests for Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and injuries to Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, and Suryakumar Yadav, three players could not find a spot in the 18-man squad. It is hard for anyone to break into the Indian team these days, but team India is making a huge mistake by not giving them a chance at all.
Eight years ago, Prithvi Shaw burst onto the scene by scoring 546 (330) in a school competition. Comparisons to Sachin Tendulkar were inevitable (and even Sehwag & Lara for that matter). He then won the U-19 WC as captain and has produced runs at the domestic circuit and IPL level.
Things looked bright, but he has only played 5 Tests (1 century, 2 50s), 6 ODIs, and a sole T20I (debut golden duck by the way).
History of fitness issues has not helped advance Shaw’s case, and he has often been depicted as ‘careless’ or ‘carefree’ in his batting approach. However, this is exactly the need of the hour for Indian cricket in T20Is.
Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal, and even Ishan Kishan play a similar brand of cricket as openers, but Shaw is a breath of fresh air. This season he has produced knocks of
And when he has not gone big, he has knocked singles and made sure the partnership with David Warner flourishes. Prithvi Shaw might not rack up the running charts and stay till the end, but what he provides is worth much more – an impetus to the team from Ball One of the match.
The real question is, will he even get an audition for the T20 WC squad?
Rahul Tripathi was always considered one of those key Indian uncapped players who ‘punches above his weight’ and ‘provides a bit of spark and energy in the field,’ but has always been seen a level below international quality (like a Swapnil Asnodkar, Manvinder Bisla, Nitish Rana, and now Rajat Patidar).
But has Rahul Tripathi been unfairly pigeonholed? He batted with flair this year at SRH (413 Runs, 3 50s, 158.24 SR) and was the catalyst behind KKR’s run to the final last year (397 runs, 2 50s, 140.28 SR). His highest score in each of the last 6 IPLs read
93, 80*, 50, 81, 74*, 76
This means that when he is in the mood, he goes big. But more than the stats, it is Tripathi’s infectious attitude while batting. He starts hitting from ball 1, can float anywhere in the batting lineup, and adapts to any situation. Fast bowlers, spinners, doesn’t matter. 120/2 or 0/1 – he comes in with the same aggression and mindset as a modern day #3 batter should.
Mitchell Marsh, Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan, Mohammad Hafeez, and Devon Conway are the template to bat at #3 these days. Gone are the days of Steve Smith and Virat Kohli steadying the pace.
Tripathi has done all in his power to showcase his ability, but will he ever get a chance?
Sanju Samson has been the most ill-treated of them all. Samson has barely received any chances at the international level since his debut in 2015:
1 T20 Vs Zimbabwe (2015), 1 Vs SL (Jan 2020), 2 Vs NZ (Jan-Feb 2020), 3 Vs Aus (Dec 2020), 3 Vs SL (Jul 2021), 3 Vs SL (Feb 2022).
There is barely any continuity. In his last series in February,he did not bat in the first T20I and scored his personal best – a crucial 39 (25) with 2 fours & 3 sixes at #4. Yet, he has been dropped while the likes of Ishan Kishan & Venkatesh Iyer have been retained despite poor IPL form. What message are the selectors and coach sending?
In Qualifier 1 of IPL 2022, Samson gave an apt reply with the bat.
First ball he faced – SIX! What followed was carnage. His next scoring shots were 4,4,4,6,6. He scored 30 (13) before he even took a single. Now, that is T20 mentality!
That 47 (26) was a more impactful innings than Jos Buttler’s 89 (56).
Sanju Samson and the IPL Inconsistency Myth
He has been on the IPL scene since 2013 but has always carried the perception of ‘inconsistency’, ‘not enough domestic runs’, or ‘throws his wicket away.’
Let us dig a bit deeper. This may have been true from 2013-2016 (where his average hovered between 20.4-26.45 & SR between 112.35-125.15). In each of those years, he would make one or two sparkling fifties and then fall off.
However, from 2017-2022, he has scored 3 hundreds, 12 fifties, striking it between 136.72-150.36 and averaging between 30.07-40.33. Runs in these five years?
386, 441, 342, 375, 484, 421*
His numbers might not be KL Rahul-esque (659, 593, 670, 626, 616) whose SR hovers around 135. Rahul plays an opener/anchor role, while Samson is the middle order intent batter who can keep the game moving and hit spinners out of the attack.
In essence, Sanju Samson has become more consistent, more lethal, and a true match winner.
Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tripathi, and Sanju Samson, literally the only three Indian batters with a modern day T20 batting mindset, were omitted from the South Africa squad list. Although India has about 24 T20Is to try out new players before the 2022 T20 World Cup later this year, their exclusion reveals India’s reluctance to play ultra-aggressive cricket.
Among Indian players, only Dinesh Karthik (187. 28), Rajat Patidar (156.25), Shivam Dube (156.21), Rishabh Pant (151.78) have comparable Strike Rates. Samson, Tripathi, and Shaw have taken the leap of faith with risk & reward. The real question is, will Indian selectors?
“When you’re doing a role like this. In T20s, when you are there to hit sixes…you need to have guts inside yourself, you need to be brave enough to do that role…failures will happen…If I get to play, I play. If I don’t, I don’t.”
“I am not here to score lots and lots of runs…I am here to score a small amount of runs which are very effective for the team.”
India Need to Revive the Memories of 2007
India last won a T20 World Cup way back in 2007. It was the inaugural edition, nobody knew what this beast T20 cricket would come, and the IPL had yet to be announced.
Stalwarts Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly stepped aside to give youngsters a chance. Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Sreesanth, Joginder Sharma, RP Singh, and even the timeless Dinesh Karthik would make the squad. The Pathan brothers, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, and Virender Sehwag were the ‘seniors’ in the side lead under a certain captain MS Dhoni.
And guess what happened? India won—a young team with nothing to lose who just went out there, took risks, and expressed themselves.
Fast forward 15 years and 6 T20 World Cups later, India has yet to win another trophy. What’s worse? They have not even played close to their potential (Virat Kohli dragged into the finals and semi-finals of the 2014 & 2016 editions).
It might be time for a couple of seniors to step aside and give a free reign to players who can go there and play their natural, free-flowing, expressive cricket.
Women’s cricket has become mainstream over the last decade, especially with the breakthrough 2017 ODI World Cup and the 2020 T20 World Cup final, but how much do we really about it?
The general public can remember who won the 1979 Cricket World Cup, Kapil Dev’s 1983 catch, Wasim Akram’s 1992 swing, South Africa’s collapses, and Australia’s dominance in men’s cricket. Here we will educate ourselves about the Women’s Cricket World Cup—How many World Cups have happened, what happened in each world cup, who is the highest runs scorer, wicket taker, and much more!
By the end of this article, you will know everything from history to prepare yourself for the upcoming 2022 Cricket World cup.
Facts About Women’s Cricket World Cup
Did You Know?
Cricket’s first ODI World Cup was the 1973 Women’s Cricket World Cup, not the 1975 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Denmark played cricket? That’s right. While teams like Ireland and Netherlands made their impact in men’s world cup in the 2000s, teams like Ireland, Denmark, and Netherlands made their Women’s World Cup debut from the 1988 & 1993 world cups onwards.
In the 1973 World Cup, Jamaica & Trinidad and Tobago played as separate nations, not under West Indies.
Format: Round Robin (3 matches each), 6 matches total
Highest Run-Scorer: Margaret Jennings (127) – Australia
Highest Wicket Taker: Sharyn Hill (7) – Australia
Venue: New Zealand
Fun Fact:Australia won their first cricket world cup….first of their 20 world cups (5 men’s ODI, 1 T20 WC, 3 U-19 WC, 6 women’s ODI WC, 5 T20I WC)…WOW.
3. Hansells Vita Fresh 1982 Women’s Cricket World Cup
Venue: New Zealand
Winner: Australia 🥇
Runners Up: England 🥈
Teams: 5 (Australia, England, New Zealand, India, International XI)
Format: Triple Round Robin + Final (12 matches each), 31 matches total
Highest Run-Scorer: Jan Brittin (391) – England
Highest Wicket Taker: Lyn Fullston (23) – Australia (most in any women’s WC)
Fun Fact:Jackie Lord took 8-2-10-6 against India, women’s cricket best WC bowling figures to date. Electing to bat, NZ were bundled out for 80 in 58.5 overs via Diana Edulji’s 11.5-7-10-3 (60-over match). In reply, Lord helped bundle India for 37 in 35 overes.
Each team played each other THREE TIMES! Can you imagine that in today’s day and age? Also International XI makes a comeback.
Highest Run-Scorer: Debbie Hockley (456) – New Zealand (most in any women’s WC)
Highest Wicket Taker: Katrina Keenan (13) – New Zealand
Fun Fact:Belinda Clark 229* (pushing Australia to 412/7, best WC score ever till date) and Charlotte Edwards’ 173 broke ODI batting world records, Pakistan collapsed for 27/10 (lowest ever WC score), and Jhulan Goswami, on ball duty, was inspired to take up the sport as a child.The beginning of professionalization of women’s cricket (from skirts/culottes to trousers)
Teams: 8 (Australia, India, New Zealand, England, West indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ireland)
Format: Round Robin + Semi-Finals + Finals, 31 matches total
Player of the Tournament: Karen Rolton (Australia) (Rolton boasts the best WC average across women’s WC – 74.92)
Highest Run-Scorer: Charlotte Edwards (280)
Highest Wicket Taker: Neetu David (20)
Fun Fact:Featured a star cast—Belinda Clark, Lisa Sthalekar, Karen Rolton, Lisa Keightley, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Charlotte Edwards, Katherine Brunt, Isa Guha, Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Anjum Chopra, Neetu David, Anisa Mohammed—a clash of generations.
Looking at the events over the past few months—stepping down from RCB captaincy, then giving up T20I leadership to focus on the 2023 ODI World Cup and World Test Championship, and finally relinquishing ODI captaincy altogether to Rohit Sharma—Test captaincy resignation was bound to happen.
We just could not have guessed it would be so soon, especially after the recent success of the Indian Test team.
Today we look at 5 ways how Virat Kohli’s Test captaincy transformed Indian cricket and what holds in his career ahead.
1. Overseas Victories Became the Norm, not an Aberration
Since the turn of the century, India’s journey in Test cricket can be divided in three phases:
Although India won matches all around, they failed to win a series in SA or Australia (they did win historic series against WI 2006 & England 2007 though).
Phase 2 – The Horror
In the six years of Phase 2, India only achieved 6 victories & 10 draws (out of 32 total). (StatsGuru)
3 Vs West Indies (Kingston 2011, North Sound 2016, Gros Islet 2016)
2 Vs Sri Lanka (both Colombo 2015)
1 vs England (Lord’s 2014)
The 8-0 (4-0 vs England followed by 4-0 Vs Australia) will be forever etched as a horror phase for Indian Test cricket. Whoever watched those two tours, realize the depths of despair Indian cricket was in. (I personally watched every single ball of that 2011 England series…Except for Dravid’s 3 tons, it was a pretty dreadful experience)
When Virat Kohli took over as captain in 2014 from MS Dhoni, India was ranked the #7 Test team in the world. Captain Virat Kohli made an impact right away with his twin tons in Adelaide, the second of which was a heartbreaker.
In order to go for the win, Kohli was prepared to lose. This was the learning phase.
Just three and half years between July 2017 & December 2021, team India won 14 matches away & 3 draws (out of 31 total). (StatsGuru)
9 SENA Victories
2 Vs South Africa (Johannesburg 2018, Centurion 2021)
3 Vs England (Nottingham 2018, Lord’s 2021, Oval 2021)
4 Vs Australia (Adelaide 2018, Melbourne 2018 & 2020, Brisbane 2021)
2 Vs West Indies (North Sound 2019, Kingston 2019)
3 Vs Sri Lanka (Galle, Colombo, Pallekele 2017)
2020-2021 season alone had 5 SENA victories, almost as many as the 2000s put together! And this does not even include the great Vihari-Ashwin draw at Sydney.
Although the 1-2 loss against South Africa dented Kohli’s legacy, the fact that India were favorites in a country they had never won is a testament to his leadership. From #7 to #1 for 4-5 years? Not bad, I say (Watch India getting the ICC Test mace as Shastri interviews Kohli)
The most widely recognized contribution of captain Virat Kohli is the development of a fast-bowling culture in Indian cricket.
If you watched 83, the movie based on India’s 1983 World Cup winning campaign under captain Kapil Dev, India’s first true fast bowling allrounder. In the story, you can see that India were not expected to build fast bowlers. There was no proper system, zero support staff, and the infrastructure was lacking.
Over the years, India started to develop some medium pacers—Venkatesh Prasad, Javagal Srinath, (most prominently) Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Agarkar, and Balaji. Although they all had good seasons, except Zaheer Khan, none lasted for more than 5 years.
After the second coming of ‘unlucky’ Ishant Sharma after his 7-74 at Lord’s 2014, the story changed. Kohli recognized that for India to win overseas, they had to take 20 wickets. For that to happen in the spicy & bouncy pitches, he & coach Ravi Shastri were willing to give complete freedom to his fast bowlers, who were then developed under bowling coach Bharat Arun (and mentored by Zaheer Khan early in their careers or in respective IPL teams).
Fast forward five years, Ishant Sharma cannot even find a place in the XI in the lost series against South Africa. Why? Well, because…
Jasprit Bumrah is the best bowler in the world. Mohammad Shami is the king of second innings reverse swing. Umesh Yadav is as good as it gets for a fast bowler in Indian conditions. Mohammad Siraj is a revelation, and Shardul Thakur takes 5-fers and breaks crucial partnerships for breakfast.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Naveep Saini, Deepak Chahar, and T. Natarajan cannot even make the team, while Hashal Patel, Prasidh Krishna, Chetan Sakariya & other domestic giants and IPL stars keep the backbone of the pipeline strong.
In today’s world, if you make the Indian Test squad as a fast bowler, you are the best in the world, let alone India.
Test cricket has been in a self-described existential crisis for about two decades now. For any business venture to succeed, money is needed. To raise money, you need customers.
In the cricketing world, customers are spectators & the spectators have been rapidly dwindling. Oh yeah, and where does cricket get most of its customers? That is right, India.
Indian cricket has been at the heart of cricket’s financial & global growth but with the horror second phase (2011-2016) combined with the expansion of the IPL, Test cricket was at threat.
In comes Virat Kohli.
Interviews after interviews, post-match presentations after post-match presentations, Kohli reiterated his commitment to Test cricket. When the World Test Championship would be under scanner, Kohli would come out in its support.
The wins overseas and watching India play a positive brand of cricket definitely has brought new fans of Test cricket and has re-energized skeptical viewers of the game.
When Kohli was captain, two of his personality traits swept the whole team— (1) Obsession with fitness, and (2) Emotions galore.
With improved sporting infrastructure and rise of T20 cricket, the standards of cricket have improved by leaps and bounds over the past decades.
However, it is captain Virat Kohli who ensured that fitness is an expectation, not just a premium add-on bonus at the international level. He set the example by prioritizing fitness himself and giving his all in the field.
Test cricket is a momentum-based game and Kohli’s momentum shifts with his emotions.
Many a time, Kohli’s enthusiasm lifted India in the field and his encouragement helped the fast bowler channel their best game. Sledging no longer hurt India as they fought fire with fire. His attitude and aggression are often criticized, but as a captain, he usually brought the best in his team.
So, we can say that captain Virat Kohli made the Indian Test team stronger—both physically and mentally.
In limited overs cricket, the constant chopping and changing by both the captain and the selection committee was detrimental to India’s progress. In Test cricket, though, he managed his players rather well.
Although Ajinkya Rahane & Cheteshwar Pujara were out of form for extended periods of time, he continuously backed his senior players. Pujara’s contribution in Australia speaks for himself and Rahane played the occasional match winning innings abroad.
Some may have thought that R Ashwin’s career might have been over a couple of years ago, but credit to both Ashwin’s reinvention & Kohli’s backing, Ashwin is back.
Finally, by mid-2021 Kohli’s machinery was set. The team had a template that they played with, and the players fulfilled their roles in the large machinery created by Kohli-Shastri-Arun-support staff. This allowed the likes of Axar Patel, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Washington Sundar—aka the next generation of Indian cricket—to seamlessly fit in the system and contribute in match-winning ways.
The stats are crystal clear. With 40 wins out of 68 Tests with a win-loss ratio of 2.352, he is not only India’s best Test captain but in the league of Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh.
Captain Virat Kohli might have called it a day, but his mark on Indian Team will be felt for a very, very long time.
Anyway, wipe off your tears. It is not the end till the end.
Kohli the batter still has time and will have the final laugh.
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83 Movie Review – The much-anticipated Bollywood film on India’s unlikely 1983 World Cup victory has hit the theaters.
Watch it or Skip It? Here is my 83 movie review. Comment on what you thought of the movie. Below my Verdict, you will see India’s 1983 match scorecards, highlights of the semi-finals and finals, interviews, and the trailer/clips from the movie.
83 is unlike any sports movie out there. Rather, it is an extended highlight reel (which has been shot spectacularly well) of the 1983 World Cup from the point of view of the players sprinkled in with some inspirational music.
The movie begins with that Viv Richards’ shot in the 1983 World Cup Final. Madan Lal’s seemingly innocuous delivery, Richards attempted pull, Yashpal Sharma closing in, and Kapil Dev running towards and completing that catch.
The movie pivots back to the months prior to the World Cup, where the Indian cricket team receives the invitation to the 1983 Prudential World Cup and manager PR Man Singh starts his preparation for the tour.
The rest of the movie is set in England. 83’s theme revolves around doubt cast by the rest of the world on Kapil Dev’s team and how they overcame it. The Indian cricket board, MCC officials, English journalist David Firth, Indian journalists, Indian fans, the commentators, and even some of the players themselves—none of them gave Team India a chance.
In order to NOT spoil the movie for you, I am not going to go in the details but let me lay out the general idea.
The rest of the movie basically dives into each and every fixture for India in the World Cup—What happened between each match, the conversations in the dressing room and net practices, the shenanigans in the hotel or bus during downtime, cultural influence back home, support from wives and family, and finally, the tension in the match itself. The direction of Kapil Dev’s 175* is the best moment of the movie, giving life to an innings uncovered due to BBC’s strike.
Ranveer Singh’s portrayal of Kapil Dev is spot on with accurate bowling action, accent, and leadership moments. Another character who is central to the movie is Pankaj Tripathi as PR Man Singh. He is the glue that keeps the movie together.
With Ranveer Singh highlighting the show, I had an underlying fear that he would overshadow the rest of the characters.
This could not have been farther from the truth as each actor came into his own just like each of the actual players coming to the party in the 83 WC. Ammy Virk (Sandhu) and Jiiva’s (Srikkanth) comic timing, Jatin Sarna’s (Sharma) fluency, and Tahir Raj Bhasin’s embodiment as Sunil Gavaskar with his subdued demeanor add immense value to the movie.
Even though they do not get as much screen time, Saqib Saleem (as Amarnath) and Nishant Dahiya (Roger Binny) shine and provide the best moments in the film while portraying their vulnerable side. From Patil & Shastri to Kirmani & Sunil Valson, each character has been given due role.
Boman Irani’s (Farokh Engineer) commentary acts like the fourth wall, conveying the differences in perception between the rising Indian dressing room and the outside world.
The beauty of this movie is that halfway in the movie you will feel like you are watching the actual players and are hooked into the storyline.
83 Movie Review – The Verdict: To Watch or Not to Watch?
Pros: Screenplay; Chemistry Between the Actors; Seamless Immersion of Real-Life Photos in the movie
Cons: Climax Ends Too Quickly (Not much focus on post-match speeches or the aftermath); Political References Interrupting flow of the World Cup
Is 83 the greatest sporting movie of all time? No, not even close.
Remember the Titans, the Rocky movies, Last Dance documentary, Moneyball, and Invictus all rank higher up that list. In terms of Bollywood, Chak de India, Lagaan, Iqbal, and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag are the golden standard.
Comparing 83 to any other sports movies would be an injustice. You see, there isn’t a rousing emotional speech in this one. There isn’t much background of players’ personal lives either like other stereotypical sport movies. The sole focus is on the couple of months preceding June 25th, 1983, and they do this exceedingly well.
The movie’s delivery is simple because Kapil Dev was a simple man.
The strength of 83 lies in the inside jokes and stories. We may have heard a few of them during the numerous interviews over the years, but 83 has breathed life into these characters on the big screen.
Credit to the writers of the movie for infusing little details like Keki Tarapore’s influence on Indian fast bowling and for illuminating on the aura of West Indian players at that time—Captain Clive Lloyd, Sir Vivian Richards, and the fast-bowling unit, Joel Garner, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and Malcolm Marshall.
If you are a cricket fan, this is a 5/5.You will enjoy each and every moment of this movie. If you are watching objectively from a film critic point of view, there is a little more left to be desired at the very end.
While it cannot be claimed that this is the single greatest underdog story in sporting history, it definitely ranks among the top. What India’s 1983 journey can claim is the Most Consequential Underdog story.
In 83, you will see that Team India came in with dire financial situation and zero expectations. The Indian cricket board facility looks archaic, allowance per day & food is at a bare minimum, the 83 WC is just a stopping point for a self-funded trip to Miami, and there is no respect from the cricketing world.
The only WC game India had won so far was against East Africa (1975), and they even lost to Sri Lanka in 1979, a team with no Test status back then (equivalent of USA defeating Ireland in today’s world).
Fast forward 30 years, the BCCI controls world cricket as a multi-billion-dollar governing body, depth of Indian cricket is unparalleled, cricket is central to India’s culture and economy, and the Indian Premier League, limitless sponsorships, world class facilities & coaches are a given.
India is at a great position today due to the efforts & hard work of these men in 1983. If there was ever a fairytale story to get inspiration from, this is it. Never lose hope despite outside noises. Keep believing – you never know, it might come true.
I will leave you with one final thought – What if India had NOT won the 1983 World Cup? What if Kapil Dev had dropped Richards? If Dev had failed to arrest the slide at 17–5, with the 175*, would we be playing the Zimbabwe Premier League today?