BIRMINGHAM: The debate over ‘greatest’ tag among the four master allrounders of cricket who plied their trade around the same time – Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Richard Hadlee had been an eternal favourite for the game’s lovers. There could never be a definitive solution, but Kapil, the man who took the sport into every Indian household with the 1983 World Cup win believes each of their quartet were blessed with unique qualities.
Keeping Botham a notch ahead of the others because of his allround abilities, Kapil said: ‘‘He (Botham) could win a match on his own either through his batting or bowling. In fact, I developed this competitive spirit in me to do one better than him during our England tour of 1982 when I was fortunate enough to end up as the Man of the Series.’’
Getting candid about Imran Khan, former Pakistan captain and now Prime Minister of his country, Kapil felt his initial impressions about Imran’s bowling was not really extraordinary. ‘‘He, however, was a very hardworking bowler who worked on his batting also to serve the team. I would rate him higher as a captain for the way he handled some of the notorious players in his team. I was possibly fitter and more athletic than all three,’’ said Kapil.