Kapil Dev
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Kapil Dev, also known as the Haryana Hurricane, was born 6th January, 1959 in Chandigarh. Kapil Dev played his first competitive game of cricket at the age of 13. In Chandigarh he used to be a regular spectator to watch the inter-sector matches. One Sunday the Sector 16 team fell one player short and Kapil who had gone to watch the match was taken in as a replacement. The sector 16 team boasted of 3 players who had played Ranji Trophy cricket for Haryana. The young Kapil Dev impressed them with his attitude and talent and became a regular member of the side.

Kapil Dev in action!His family noticing his passion for the game encouraged him to take up the game seriously. His elder brother gave him lots of encouragement and at age 14, Kapil started playing for DAV school. He was coached by Desh Prem Azad, a well known cricket coach in Chandigarh. At the age of 15, Kapil Dev was invited to attend a live-in coaching camp in Bombay. The camp held at the Cricket Club Of India was conducted by Hemu Adhikari who also was an ex India test cricketer.

Kapil Dev made his first class debut in November 1975 at the age of 17. He played for his home state Haryana against neighboring state of Punjab. His performance in this match was very impressive as he got 6 wickets for just 39 runs. In another top class performance he picked up 8/36 against Jammu and Kashmir. His 7 for 20 against Bengal and 8 for 38 against Services are considered to be one of the best bowling performances in the Indian domestic cricket.

Kapil Dev made his Test debut on 16th October 1978 at Faisalabad against Pakistan. His bowling in the first innings was disappointing as he had figures of 0/71 from 16 overs. In the second innings he bowled better and got his first test wicket that of Sadiq Mohammad. India was comprehensively beaten in that series but it saw the emergence of Kapil Dev as a talented fast bowler and all rounder. He learned a lot in this series and modified his action on the advice of Sunil Gavaskar and started bowling from close to the stumps to make his out swingers more effective and lethal. He also performed creditably with the bat and made some useful scores in the middle order. His best batting performance was the innings of 59 in 48 balls which included two sixes and eight fours in the third Test at Karachi.

Till he retired in mid 90's, Kapil Dev was one of the leading all rounders in the game. He held the record for the most number of Test and One day wickets for quite a long time till Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram took over respectively. Captaining India to win the World Cup in 1983 was the highlight of his illustrious career. Other highlights include leading India to a 2-0 series win against a strong England side in England in 1986.

His unbeaten innings of 175 against Zimbabwe in the World Cup in 1983 when India were tottering at 17/5 and his 4 successive sixes of Eddie Hemmings in the first innings of the Lords test in 1990 to get the 24 runs needed to avoid the follow on are now part of cricketing folk lore. His super human match winning efforts with the ball in the Melbourne Test of 1980 against Australia in which he bowled non stop for 3 hours to bowl out Australia after taking painkilling injections for a torn hamstring and a pulled groin muscle is still remembered with awe.

Kapil Dev remained India's top strike bowler for almost 15 years. His extraordinary test match figures of more than 5000 runs, 434 wickets along with 64 catches show that he was a world class cricketer and all rounder. He remained away from the game for some time after he retired and concentrated on improving his golf. He became the coach of the Indian Cricket team in 1999.

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