Rebuilding History: Fancy a Fantasy League in World Cup 1983?

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Cricket lovers in India have always taken the trouble to wake up early in the morning or to sleep late at night, just not to miss a single ball of any of India’s World Cup matches. They have done it in 1983, repeated it in 1992, in 1999, 2003 and no wonder they would do the same in 2015 as well. But, waking up at 4:30 am to watch a Scotland-New Zealand or a South Africa-UAE match? That’s kind of unexpected and surprising too. However, people of different places have done it this year, all thanks to Fantasy Cricket!

The time between the toss and the start of the game has been the busiest time for these people. Should I pick Trent Boult or Tim Southee? Hashim Amla or Faf Du Plessis? Is Virat Kohli the best bet for the Power-player position? And so on and so forth…

The excitement has definitely increased manifold due to this parallel universe, where any wicket by Mohammad Shami is not his alone, it’s a wicket for all of us who picked him in the fantasy team. But, have you ever wondered what would have been if this world of fantasy existed in 1983 too? Would you have picked Mohinder Amarnath for the final? What about Balwinder Singh Sandhu who got rid of Gordan Greenidge and set the tone for India’s victory?

In this article, we are going to relive India’s World Cup journey, but from an entirely different perspective. Let us have a look at all those players who made the country proud and let us find how many fantasy points they would have scored had there been an official fantasy contest. Throughout in this article, we will consider the scoring system set by ICC Official Fantasy. However, due to unavailability of full data, we will not consider points for 4s and 6s.

India was in Group B with defending champion West Indies, mighty Australia and newcomer Zimbabwe. In the first group fixture, India pulled off a surprise win over the Windies, thanks to Yashpal Sharma’s knock of 89 and some fine bowling by Roger Binny (3 for 48) and Ravi Shastri (3 for 26). Sharma, Binny and Shastri would have scored 108.5, 185.5 and 139 fantasy points. However, Sharma was awarded the Man of the Match and got 50 more points.

India defeated Zimbabwe in the next match and Madan Lal’s swinging deliveries (3 for 27) helped him score 152 fantasy points. He also got the Man of the match award. In the third match, against Australia, India tasted their first defeat but the skipper took 5 for 43 and then hit 40 quick runs off 27 balls, thereby scoring a total of 375 fantasy points. But, Kapil Dev’s best performance was yet to come. In the second match against Zimbabwe, he scored 175* and then took 1 wicket to become the Man of the Match and scored a total of 553 points in that match only!

In the other two group league matches, India won against Australia but lost against West Indies. Madan Lal and Binny delivered with the ball once again, taking 4 wickets each, in the win against the Aussies. And then came the semi-final!

India faced England in the semis and it was an all-round show by Mohinder Amarnath. His economical bowling figure of 12-1-27-2 and his steady knock of 46 earned him the Man of the Match award and 213 fantasy points. In the other semifinal West Indies defeated Pakistan at ease and every Indian was excited to experience the historic night of 23rd June! India was going to face West Indies in the Final of 1983 Cricket World Cup!

After the group stage and the semifinal, this is how the list of Indian players would have looked like, sorted by fantasy points:

Player name Batting Points Bowling points Fielding points Bonus Total Points
Kapil Dev 459 774 75 110 1418
Roger Binny 37.5 910 15 110 1072.5
Madan Lal 62.5 772 15 110 959.5
B S Sandhu 4.5 504 30 60 598.5
Mohinder Amarnath 128 276 0 110 514
Yashpal Sharma 207 0 30 110 347
Ravi Shastri 25.5 194 45 30 294.5
Syed Kirmani 14 0 205 60 279
Sandip Patil 193 -7 30 60 276
Kris Srikkanth 74.5 0 45 60 179.5
Kirti Azad 13.5 94 0 30 137.5
Sunil Gavaskar 26.5 0 15 60 101.5
Dilip Vengsarkar 19 0 15 0 34

As you can see above, Amarnath was only the fifth best player, behind the skipper and the three seamers. Most likely, people would have definitely picked up Kapil Dev and possibly Roger Binny and Madan Lal, based on the consistency they have showed so far. But then, Cricket is a game full of surprises.

Amarnath came out to be the best player of the final in the end. He scored 26, took 3 for 12 and then got the all important Man of the Match award, thereby scoring 214 fantasy points in the final. Not surprisingly, the captain was once again valuable and he scored 214 points too. Madan Lal was the third best player and he got 208 points, thanks to his 3-wicket haul for 31. In the end, the table for fantasy points looked like the following:

Player name Batting Points Bowling points Fielding points Bonus Total Points
Kapil Dev 488 909 105 125 1627
Roger Binny 36.5 992 30 125 1183.5
Madan Lal 74.5 958 15 175 1222.5
Mohinder Amarnath 127 421 0 75 623
B S Sandhu 6 611 30 75 722
Yashpal Sharma 207.5 0 30 125 362.5
Sandip Patil 219 -7 30 125 367
Syed Kirmani 13.5 0 220 75 308.5
Ravi Shastri 25.5 194 45 30 294.5
Kris Srikkanth 103 0 45 75 223
Kirti Azad 7 105 0 45 157
Sunil Gavaskar 23.5 0 45 75 143.5
Dilip Vengsarkar 19 0 15 0 34

The skipper led the way also in the fantasy points table and Mohinder improved his places a little after the finale.

Mohammed Shami, also a fast bowler, tops the Fantasy Chart among Indians in this world cup. Can he finish the campaign staying at the top or the in-form batsmen will topple him over? In 1983, bowlers and all-rounders were handy for the picks and we have to wait to see if 2015 follows the same trail.

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