Twelve years ago Indian team led by young Mahendra Singh Dhoni did something extraordinary absolutely out of expectation at the ICC T20 World Cup 2007. India already had a terrible World Cup and T20 format was a new concept back then. After the debacle in the World Cup, The Indian team was going through a tough phase and transition. But it was also the year of first ICC T20 World Cup. The senior players decided to not take part in the same. No wonder a totally young squad led by a young skipper was not in the list of favorites for maximum.
ICC T20 World Cup 2007 – How it all began
In augural ICC T20 World Cup 2007, India shared the group with Pakistan and Scotland. With Scotland, it was an abandoned match whereas the game against the arch-rivals turned out to be the most exciting game of the tournament. A tied match ended in a bowl out in India’s favor. Thereafter it was India’s tournament as they lost only one encounter against New Zealand and went on to win against England, South Africa and then the semi-final against Australia. It was a star-studded Australian team that failed to chase down 189 runs.
On the other hand, Pakistan beat the Kiwis to reach the Final of the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup 2007 against India. After that stunning encounter in the group stage, the stage was set for a deadly crash. Moreover, the venue was Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa where India had heartbreak in the 2003 World Cup Final against Australia.
India winning the toss in ICC T20 World Cup 2007 batting first India scored 157 for the loss of five wickets. Gautam Gambhir took the lead to carry the innings with his 54-ball 75. Rohit Sharma was also instrumental at the end with 30 off 16. It was Umar Gul who ran through the Indian top order and scalped major wickets of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. Moreover, he also sent back Gambhir in the 18th over to restrict India to a comparatively lower target.
In reply, Pakistan had a pretty bad start. While the team was struggling with 26/2 in the third over Imran Nazir (33) and Younis Khan (24) held the innings for a while. But Indian bowlers assured none could stay there for long. RP Singh and Irfan Pathan took three wickets each as Joginder Sharma scalped two. Misbah-ul-Haq brought back the hope for Pakistan and played the role of an anchor. It almost looked like Pakistan’s match when he was in the middle with Pakistan needed six runs from four balls with one wicket in hand at the end.
The Golden Moment
Dhoni handed the ball to Joginder Sharma. The decision proved to be boomerang initially as Sharma conceded seven runs of the first two balls – a wide and a six over long-off, and came under tremendous pressure. Misbah-ul-Haq was certain to seal the match for his team along with Mohammed Asif at the other end. Pakistani dug-out was ready for the celebration. The fact that the victory was about to be achieved against India, was an extra reason for joy.
After two bad deliveries, Sharma had a long chat with skipper M.S. Dhoni who was visibly soothing his bowler. Sharma went back and took his run-up, bowls a slower delivery outside the off-stump and Misbah went for a scoop over the short fine-leg. The ball was up in the air and Sreesanth did no mistake to pouch it. The moment got etched in the Indian cricket history forever as India wins the ICC T20 World Cup 2007. No matter what the format was, Indians were overwhelmed to finally win a World Cup after 1983.
On Tuesday, BCCI on its official Twitter handle, shared a 16-second video of the final moments of the match and wrote, “This day in 2007, Team India were crowned World T20 Champions.”
This day, in 2⃣0⃣0⃣7⃣#TeamIndia were crowned World T20 Champions 😎🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/o7gUrTF8XN
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 24, 2019
That ICC T20 World Cup 2007 did not only help Indians to forget the wretched 2003 Final against Australia, the 2007 World Cup disaster, it also was the beginning of a new era. It was a hint of what coming next in 2011 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
Currently, Indian team under Virat Kohli is eying the 2020 T20 World Cup and getting geared up for the same. The 2019 World Cup semi-final exit is still a shocker to the Indians. Next year’s T20 World Cup may help Indians to grab a new title and heal the pain. Who knows this T20 World Cup might yet again gives birth to a new era in Indian cricket?
Virat Kohli has a number of challenges ahead of the mega event in Australia. The first and foremost is the curious case of Rishabh Pant. Rishabh is the next choice for Indian cricket management after Dhoni and he has earned his place for the same. but his shot selection has become a major issue that needs to get resolved at the soonest.
Shikhar Dhawan often looks out the track and misfit in the much talked about top order. The top-order needs to stop being dependant on the skipper and so Dhawan needs to click, well at most of the times.
The Indian team had two world-class finishers like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in 2007. Virat’s team is trying to build such performers with giving enough chances to Hardik and Krunal Pandya. Hardik Pandya has already proved his mettle in the squad and one of the regular faces of the team now.
Kohli and Shastri are trying out new options for bowling. With the strong reserve bench Indian cricket currently had, it is okay to give chance to new faces. But it is important to fix a combination at the soonest as the World Cup is scheduled for next year-end.
Overall, The Indian cricket team is going through a transition presently and very much interested in experimenting. The management just has to keep the timeline of the showpiece event in mind and should be done with the final squad with enough time in hand.