Over nearly five decades, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup has experienced changing formats, fierce competition, and contentious controversies. Ten countries will compete for the most coveted trophy in one-day international (ODI) cricket in the tournament’s 13th edition. Notably, for the first time, the marquee event will be hosted by two-time world champions, India, from October 5 to November 19.

Many teams have dominated the World Cup tournament especially the West Indies and Australia. West Indies won the first two World Cup tournaments almost one-sided. Then Australia began their reign of awesomeness, as they won the World Cup thrice in a row in 1999, 2003, and 2007.

On the other hand, there have been teams that have been underdogs, as there were not many expectations from them. Such teams often had very inspiring and commanding captains leading them to glory. Such Captains have brought glory to their teams and with this in mind, here are the skippers who led their underdog teams to World Cup glory in ODIs. 

Here are the captains who led underdog teams to ODI World Cup glory:

1. Kapil Dev (India)- 1983 World Cup

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev

India had won only one match in the previous two ODI World Cups in 1975 and 1979, under the captaincy of Srinivas Venkatraghavan. When the 1983 World Cup came around, Indian players got a hang of one-day cricket. This caused the BCCI to send a young team led by a young 24-year-old, all-rounder Kapil Dev to the event. 

Kapil Dev led from the front as he picked the first fifer by an Indian in ODIs against Australia in the league stage. India defeated both Australia and West Indies in the league stage. But Kapil’s best came against Zimbabwe when his historic (175*) unbeaten knock helped India put up a decent total after recovering miraculously from 17/5 and then winning the match.

His leadership encouraged and inspired youngsters like Sandeep Patil, Syed Kirmani, Balwinder Sandhu, and others to give it their all. They shined in crunch matches like Patil scoring fifty against England in the semi-finals along with Yashpal Sharma and Sandhu dismissing Gordon Greenidge in the final at Lord’s. Kapil Dev inspired this young underdog team to an unexpected World Cup win in 1983.  

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