Legendary Indian skipper, Kapil Dev has said the 1986 Austral-Asia final defeat to Pakistan dented Team India’s confidence a lot and it was difficult to digest the manner in which India let slip an opportunity to win the inaugural edition of the tournament in Sharjah. Kapil Dev said the memories of the 1-wicket defeat to arch-rivals Pakistan in Sharjah give him sleepless nights and that the senior national team found it very difficult to bounce back from the setback.
India ended up being on the losing side after Javed Miandad played a blinder, hitting 116 not out from just 115 balls. Pakistan successfully chased down the target of 246 runs with Miandad hitting a last-ball six. Pakistan needed 4 runs to win in the final delivery of the match. Kapil Dev had turned to Chetan Sharma to bowl the final over.
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Miandad stayed on the back foot and smashed the ball over the long-on boundary to help Pakistan win the crown. An elated Miandad punched the air in delight before rushing back to the pavilion while the Indian players were left heartbroken.
Recalling the same, during a chat with Star Sports, Kapil Dev said, “When the last overcame, we went to Chetan. To this day, I still feel it wasn’t his mistake. They needed 4 runs on the last ball and we decided that it would be a low yorker. There was no other alternative. He tried his best, we all tried. It turned out to be a low full-toss. Miandad kept his backfoot intact and connected it. Even when we remember that today, we can’t sleep.”
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He further added, “That defeat crushed the whole side’s confidence for the next four years. It was very difficult to make a comeback from there. “We thought we should have 12-13 runs to defend in the last over of the match. It was a very difficult task, almost impossible in those times.”
India did well with the bat to reach a competitive score of 245 in 50 overs as they rode on Sunil Gavaskar’s 92 and Dilip Vengsarkar’s 50. Opener Kris Srikanth also shone with an 80-ball 75, hitting 2 sixes and 8 boundaries.