Legendary Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Saturday that former skipper MS Dhoni gave his players a lot of freedom while playing during their 2007 ICC T20 World Cup campaign, which the Men in Blue won. On the fifteenth anniversary of Team India’s 2007 ICC T20 World Cup triumph, Team India members recalled their first impressions of MS Dhoni in the Star Sports program ‘Class of 2007: The Reunion of ’07 Champions’. “We didn’t feel like MS Dhoni was our skipper until he lifted the trophy. It was because everyone brought in their suggestions about what should happen at a certain stage in a game. He was very open to it and would let’s continue with what we thought was best,” said Harbhajan Singh.
The bowler recalled the strategy during the iconic bowl-out that took place to determine the winner of the Group D clash between India and Pakistan, which ended in a draw with both teams scoring 141 runs each.
“The run-up of players involved in a bowl-out was three to four steps. It was because they could have lost their balance after running a long distance,” he said.
Even wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik remembered his first impressions of MS Dhoni.
“He was then on his way to captaincy. He was the vice-captain during the 2007 ODI World Cup and series against England and several other places. From day 1 he had his own ways of doing things. There wasn’t really much difference between him as a captain and as a player,” said Karthik.
On this day in 2007, India won the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup, beating Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final in Johannesburg.
Both teams had a great run in the tournament heading into the finals and topped their respective groups. India came into the top clash after beating the mighty Australians in the semi-final by 15 runs. On the other hand, Pakistan had beaten New Zealand by six wickets in the semi-final.
India chose to bat first after winning the toss. They put down 157/5 in their 20 overs. Gautam Gambhir’s 75 from 54 balls and Rohit Sharma’s hard hitting cameo of 30* from 16 balls helped Men in Blue get a solid score for an ICC final for those days. Pacer Umar Gul (3/26) failed to let Team India reach a big score and took wickets in crucial stages.
Pakistan chased 158 and lost wickets at regular intervals. RP Singh (3/26) and Irfan (3/16) controlled the run flow of their arch-rivals. Knocks from Imran Nazir (33), Younis Khan (24) were solid but Pakistan continued to struggle at 6/77. Misbah-ul-Haq (43) then tried to win against Pakistan but came up five runs short after a delivery scoop by Joginder Sharma (2/20) was caught by S Sreesanth, sending millions into ecstasy. Pakistan was bundled for 152 runs.
Since then, India has not won another T20 World Cup. Their best performances since then remain second in the 2014 edition and the semifinals in the 2016 edition of the tournament.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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