India started their campaign with a win thanks to the middle-order batsman Yashpal Sharma, but their success is not discussed at all.
Yashpal Sharma (File Photo-Getty)
In 1983, the Indian team showed a shocking performance against the expectation of being the world champions, beating the legendary teams like Australia, England and West Indies. One such player was also involved in the Indian team's journey to that World Cup, whose success is not discussed equally. Due to this perceived middle-order batsman, India started their campaign with a win. Yes! Yashpal Sharma is being talked about. Today is his birthday. Yashpal, born on 11 August 1954 in Ludhiana, turned 66 on Tuesday.
India faced two-time champions West Indies in their first match in the 1983 World Cup campaign. The Windies, who had performed poorly in the last two World Cups, were sent to bat first. His decision proved almost right. Yashpal Sharma landed when the third wicket fell at the score of 76, half the team had returned to the pavilion till the score of 141 runs, but Yashpal kept his patience.
Yashpal Sharma completed the Indian innings after facing 120 balls at Old Trafford ground in Manchester. He not only resorted to strokes but also kept pace between the wickets and ran runs. Yashpal alone scored 89 runs (9 fours), bringing India's score to 262/8 in the prescribed 60 overs. Thanks to Yashpal's brilliant innings, India made a big upset in their first match of Group B and defeated the West Indies by 34 runs. And with this victory, the foundation of India becoming world champion was laid.
Yashpal Sharma played an aggressive inning in the match against Australia during the same World Cup, scoring 40 runs in 40 balls, which had only one four. It is interesting that in that match, it was not only the highest personal score for India but also nobody scored so many runs for Australia in the innings. Chasing 248 runs, the Australian team was reduced to 129 runs in front of the sharp bowling of Madan Lal, Roger Binny (4-4 wickets) and Balwinder Sandhu (2 wickets).
Not only this, but Yashpal Sharma also played a key role in the win against hosts England in the semi-finals. He scored the highest 61 runs, including 2 sixes and 3 fours. India won that crucial match by 6 wickets and reached the final. Whatever happened after this, he got included in the pages of history. The Indian team broke the West Indies' dream of winning their third consecutive World Cup and captured the World Cup for the first time. Talking about the highest runs scored by India in the 1983 World Cup, Yashpal has the highest number of runs (240) in the account after Kapil Dev (303 runs).
Yashpal Sharma lifted the trophy
Yashpal Sharma represented India in 42 ODIs (1978–1985) and scored 883 runs at an average of 28.48. No century came out of his bat, but the interesting fact related to his career was that he never got out on 'zero' in ODIs. During 1979-1983, Yashpal scored 1606 runs in 37 Tests at an average of 33.45, including two centuries and 9 half-centuries.
ट्रॉफी उठाए यशपाल शर्मा (Getty)
His highest score in Test matches was 140 runs. His second Test century was very special. He shared a record 316 runs (for the third wicket) with Gundappa Vishwanath in the Madras Test against England in 1982. Vishwanath (222) and Yashpal (140) did not let any wickets fall on the second day of the Test match. It was the highest run partnership for any wicket between the two countries for 29 years. In 2011, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen broke this record by partnering 350 runs at the Oval.