CHENNAI: It was fun of a different kind at Chepauk on Saturday as Kapil Dev and K Srikkanth introduced the cast of 83, a movie based on India’s 1983 World Cup triumph. Ranveer Singh, who plays Kapil in the movie, was present with director Kabir Khan. Also present was Tamil actor Jiiva, who plays the role of Srikkanth.
“It was because of Kapil that we won the World Cup. He instilled belief in the team. He gave us hope that we had it in ourselves to beat the mighty West Indies in the final,’’ said Srikkanth. Kapil smiled and cited teamwork as the reason for the win.
Ranveer demonstrated Kapil’s famous ‘Nataraj’ shot and also his bowling action. Srikkanth pointed out that the actor had lost weight and worked hard to get it right. Ranveer said bowling with that action was the toughest part. Kapil is yet to see the movie.Conversation had to veer to the Indian team’s impressive run of late. Kapil is pleased with the win against New Zealand in the first T20 where KL Rahul played as a wicketkeeper. “I am very happy with the way the team is playing. They are doing a good job. It is the team management’s call to decide who opens, who bats at No 3 etc,” said Kapil.
The legend was of the opinion that it’s up to Rishabh Pant to make his way back into the XI. “Players have to look after themselves. They should never give the option to the selectors to drop them. Pant is talented. He cannot blame anybody. The only way for him is to keep getting runs and prove everybody wrong. When you are talented, it is your job to prove people wrong,” opined India’s greatest all-rounder. Kapil also had words of advice for Hardik Pandya. “He should be worried about how quickly he can get fit and come back into the team. That’s important.”
The 61-year-old also had words of praise for the Indian bowling attack that has been winning matches regularly. “This attack is fabulous. We are winning not because of the batsmen, but because of great bowlers who are taking 20 wickets in a Test. That is the difference recently,’’ said Kapil. The MS Dhoni comeback debate never seems to die. “He has served the country well for so many years. One day, he has to retire. It will be sooner rather than later. He has to go at some time. He is not playing. So I don’t know when he is going to come out and say he has had enough. It will be our loss whenever he retires,” said Kapil. Of late, Indian fast bowlers have become injury prone. The former bowlers said it is the duty of the team management to look after them. “When you play for 10 months, you will get injured. Conditions and the weather are not the same everywhere. The team management will have to take care of them,” signed off Kapil.Kapil revealed that he has fond memories of playing at Chepauk. “It was an electrifying atmosphere those days. Even now the stadium looks good. Happy to be back in Chennai.”