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Former skipper Kapil Dev was one of the best seam bowlers India has ever produced and he was also undoubtedly their greatest pace-bowling all-rounder. Has Dev not played in the era of Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan, he would have been recognised as the best all-rounder in the world. Dev achieved several impossible feats while playing for India. However, his biggest achievement was leading an underdog Indian side to the World Cup victory in 1983 against the mighty West Indies.
Dev holding the World Cup trophy afloat in the Lord’s balcony is one of the most cherished memories of Indian cricket enthusiasts. Today is also a special day for the India fans as, on this day in 1978, the most revered captain of India made his Test debut against Pakistan in Faisalabad.
Dev was already touted as the next big for Indian cricket when he walked to play the first Test match of his career against the bitter rivals Pakistan at the age of 19. Dev did not have a dream starts to his red-ball career as he managed to pick just one wicket in the game while conceding 96 runs. He was able to add just eight runs to India’s tally as the first Test match ended in a draw.
Despite his mediocre stint in the opening Test, he had a decent overall debut series, picking seven wickets and scoring 159 runs in three Tests. India lost the three-match Test against Pakistan series 2-0.
Dev might not have been able to alter the result of India vs Pakistan series but there were glimpses of a future star in his performance. After that, he went on to represent India for 16 years and guided them to several memorable victories to stamp his authority as the greatest all-rounder to grace the game of fame.
He represented India in 225 ODIs and 131 Tests and scored 3783 and 5248 runs respectively.