After the adversities of the early years, the 1971 series wins in the Caribbean and England helped Indian cricket forge a new identity. Players like Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath were exemplary contributors with the bat while Kapil Dev arrived as a promising fast bowling all-rounder in the late 1970s and turned into a superstar in the 1980s.

How cricket became India’s passion

Indian cricket came of age in the 1970s and 1980s. Stragglers for the better part of the preceding half century, in spite of several outstanding players and performances,

these two decades saw Indian cricket making a splendid turnaround, burgeoning talent allying with growing ambition. This was the era in which cricket, from being a hugely popular sport, became India’s all-consuming passion.

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Gundappa Vishwanath was a batting mainstay for India during the 1970s.

The ensemble cast of characters who made this transformation possible is colourful and fascinating for their skills and their personalities.

Kapil Dev — Haryana Hurricane

Kapil Dev Nikhanj was a cricketer par excellence. His achievements on the field led to two distinct and significant legacies in Indian cricket. The first was that an Indian could be one of the best pace bowlers in the world. The second was that an Indian cricketer could have both the mental resolve and physical strength to compete at the highest level. On top of that, Kapil’s carefree attitude and his immense and varied skills made him one of the all-time greats of the game. Read more

Kapil Dev’s rhythmic bowling run-up was a sight to behold.

India’s ‘Sunny’ days

Sunil Gavaskar changes the field setting in a one-day match for India.

Many legends have played the game. Few have made the mark that had a ripple effect for generations. Batting extraordinaire and courage exemplified, Sunil Manohar Gavaskar was the original Little Master in whose footsteps followed Sachin Tendulkar and then Virat Kohli as India’s great generational batters. With an airtight technique built on the ability to concentrate for hours, Gavaskar wore down bowlers with annoying patience and a near-unbreachable defence before pummelling them into submission. Read more

The World Cup that changed Indian cricket

After disappointing results in the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979, India stunned the cricketing world by beating West Indies to win the 1983 edition. We take a look at some of their memorable matches from this era. Read more

Mohinder Amarnath won the Player of the Match in the 1983 World Cup final.

The numbers game

India made significant progress as a cricketing nation in the period from 1971 to 1988. They registered maiden Test series wins in the Caribbean and England. We take a look at India’s record and the top batters and bowlers. Read more and view graphics

Wicket tales: Gavaskar riled by Aussies

Indian cricket has had a rich collection of interesting and controversial stories to narrate over the years. We take a look at some of the famous anecdotes from the second phase… Read more

Bishan Singh Bedi was India captain during the tour of Pakistan in 1978.

Must watch Videos that capture the era

From the field A series of HT podcasts about some of the greatest players to shape Indian cricket.

Former India pacer Atul Wassan recalls the journey of Kapil Dev.