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The generation of Indian cricket-lovers that grew up in the 80s would have several fond memories; Sunil Gavaskar's record-equalling 29th Test hundred in 1983-84, his 10,000th Test run in 1986-87, Kapil Dev's heroics with bat and ball, Azharuddin's sensational debut in 1985, Vengsarkar's run-hunger in 1986, and of course, the World Cup win in 1983.

A lot has been said and written, and continues to be said and written, about that World Cup win. It was certainly a historic achievement. Indeed, had it not been for that win, the sub-continent might well have never grown into the cricketing powerhouse that it is today. India's ascent to the summit of world cricket at Lord's on 25th June 1983 was creditable. 20 months after that win, virtually the same set of players reigned supreme at another great cricketing arena, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on the 10th of March 1985, exactly two decades ago. India, under the captaincy of Sunil Gavaskar won the World Championship of Cricket, a limited-overs competition organized to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Australian state of Victoria.

Indian cricket-lovers in the age-group of 25 and above will never forget the riotous moments at the end of that tournament; the presenting of the Audi 100 to Ravi Shastri, the team's joy-ride on that chariot, Sunil Gavaskar's speech during which he announced his abdication as captain, and of course, the mind-blowing television coverage by Channel Nine.

Victorious warriors - Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev.

Not without reason has the Indian team that won the tournament been called the Greatest Indian limited-overs side ever. The team had lost two of the eight matches it played in the 1983 World Cup. However, in Australia, the team had a 100 % success record, winning five out of five.

India were placed in Group 'A' of the tournament, alongside Pakistan, England and hosts Australia. New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, the three other Test-playing nations of the age, made up the other group. The Indian squad was a blend of experience and youth. Like the '983 team, it comprised a plethora of all-rounders; Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Roger Binny, Madanlal, Mohinder Amarnath and Manoj Prabhakar. Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, India's Superstars who were supposed to be at loggerheads earlier in the season, were the captain and vice-captain respectively.

India beat Pakistan in its first game by six wickets. Chasing 184, they were in a spot of bother at 27-3 with Imran Khan, playing his first game after a long lay-off due to a shin injury, taking all three wickets. But Gavaskar, who batted in the middle-order in the tournament, held his cool, as did the young Mohammed Azharuddin. They put on a match-winning 132 and Amarnath helped Azhar apply the finishing touches.

India batted first in the next game against England and scored 235-9. They could have scored a lot more had Srikkanth, who hammered an electrifying 57, not been run out off a terrific throw from the deep. Azharuddin and Vengsarkar scored attractive forties and Gavaskar an unbeaten 30. Then the Indian spinners took over. Left-arm spinner Shastri and leg-spinner L. Sivaramakrishnan silenced all those who believed that spinners had no role in one-day cricket, with deadly bowling spells that hastened England's demise for 149.

The bowlers again reigned supreme in the third league game against Australia. Kapil and Roger Binny did the early damage, and the spinners took over to send the hosts hurtling to 163 all out. Openers Shastri and Srikkanth added over a hundred in response and the match ended in the 38th over, Srikkanth remaining unbeaten with 93.

The semi-final against New Zealand witnessed India's first hiccup of the tournament. The Kiwis batted first and recovered in the final overs to score 206 when they looked like being bowled out for 170-180 at one point. Then their bowlers tied the Indian batsmen in knots and the runs came in a trickle. India took over 30 overs to reach 100, and the asking rate was almost a run-a-ball when Shastri became the third batsman to be dismissed. Enter Kapil Dev, who along with Vengsarkar flayed the dangerous Richard Hadlee for 26 runs in two overs, and the Indians won in a canter.

The final against traditional rival Pakistan was a one-sided affair right from the time Kapil Dev got the first three wickets, including the second and third off consecutive deliveries. His Yorker to bowl Qasim Omar first ball is remembered to this day. Javed Miandad, who was leading Pakistan in the tournament, saved his team from embarrassment through a useful stand with Imran Khan, but once their partnership was broken, the wickets started tumbling all over again. But the last pair hung on to make it the first instance in the tournament wherein the Indians had failed to bowl out the opposition. Srikkanth battered the bowling as only he could, while Shastri, one eye on the Audi 100 that was to be awarded to the Player of the Series, played the waiting game, which he could afford to with only 177 needed. The target was duly achieved in the 48th over with eight wickets in hand, and the fireworks began.

Srikkanth was declared the Player of the final for his 67, and Shastri the Player of the Series and the 'Champion of Champions'. The players then placed themselves all over the Audi 100 for the lap of honour, and apparently spoilt some seats and the roof. But the car-manufacturers were so thrilled at the publicity their creation got, what with all the TV cameras following the car around the ground, that they gave Shastri another car!

Sadly, that win hasn't received the same kind of attention as the '98 triumph. On the 20th anniversary of the win achieved by what is still India's greatest one-day side ever (atleast till the current team wins the World Cup), one hopes that the forgotten heroes of '85 will be remembered for proving that the triumph of '83 was not a fluke.

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1 AustraliaAustralia 118
2 IndiaIndia 112
3 cricketPakistan 111
4 EnglandEngland 108
5 AustraliaNew Zealand 98
6 SouthSouth Africa 92
7 sri LankaSri Lanka 85
8 West IndiesWest Indies 65
9 BangladeshBangladesh 57
10 ZimbabweZimbabwe 48
1 AustraliaAustralia 123
2 new ZealandNew Zealand 113
3 ZimbabweIndia 110
4 South AfricaSouth Africa 110
5 EnglandEngland 106
6 sri LankaSri Lanka 102
7 BangladeshBangladesh 98
8 countryWest Indies 94
9 cricket Pakistan 87
10 AfghanistanAfghanistan 49
1 New ZealandNew Zealand 132
2 IndiaIndia 128
3 west IndiesWest Indies 122
4 AfricaSouth Africa 119
5 EnglandEngland 116
6 AustraliaAustralia 110
7 Pakistan Pakistan 104
8 sri LankaSri Lanka 96
9 AfghanistanAfghanistan 78
10 BangladeshBangladesh 74

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