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Fear of failure helped me to be focused

The excitement and euphoria that engulfed the nation after we lifted the World Cup at Lord's on June 25 cannot be equated to anything I did before or after that moment in my life, writes Mohinder Amarnath.

cricket Updated: Jun 24, 2008 23:51 IST

We went into the tournament as underdogs and carried the tag throughout the competition as no one — even most of us — gave India a chance of creating history. It was only after Kapil (Dev's) breath-taking innings against Zimbabwe followed by the win over Australia to book a semifinal berth, that we began to believe that we could at least challenge the might of the powers that be.

On the personal front, I went into both games brimming with confidence as I was in good touch. But at the back of my mind, I knew I would be under pressure to keep my spot in the team if I failed. That kept me focused on the job and the rest is history.

I played an important role in the semifinal against England and when we trooped into Lord's for the final against the mighty West Indies, my confidence was sky high. I had always played well against the Windies and I knew what to expect from them.

The wicket was bowler-friendly and my approach was to get as many runs as possible and not allow the bowlers to settle down. We had nothing to lose as we were underdogs and that meant we were under no pressure to perform.

We did well to reach 183 on that track and with our seamers performing so well throughout, we stood a chance.

I had contributed with the bat and when I came to bowl, I was high on confidence.

Jeff Dujon did a huge favour to me as a friend. The delivery with which I got his wicket was nothing but a loosener and could not be termed as a wicket-taking ball.

I asked Kapil for a slip and though he was surprised with my demand, he did place Sunil (Gavaskar) there and I kept bowling an off-stump line to Malcom Marshall. It paid immediate dividends and when (Michael) Holding misjudged the length of the ball to be the last man out, we created history.

That day, Indian cricket took a new turn and I am looking forward to reliving those moments again at Lord's on Wednesday.