Ahead of the World T20 in 2007, the Indian cricket were a talking point for more than a few reasons. With the experience of only one T20 match (then least among the full ICC members), the men in blue were not among the favourites either.
From a disastrous 2007 World Cup to the success of World T20 the same year, what the Men in Blue did was unthinkable. The introduction of the T20 world cup changed everything. The fans had their doubts about the team, about T20 cricket overall, but the win against Pakistan in the final changed everything for good.
Let’s rewind back to on this day, in 2007, when India beat Pakistan to lift the inaugural World T20 title. Here are five things that happened at the right time and helped Dhoni and his men in the final:
In the absence of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir had a huge responsibility on his shoulder at the top order. GG already gave India a few great starts in the tournament. But the best of former KKR Captain came in the final. His 75 runs helped India to put a competitive total in a thrilling game.
Rohit Sharma's late blitz
India were 130 for 5 after 18 overs when Gambhir got out. No other batsmen had scored over 15 runs and India needed a better finish. Rohit Sharma had two overs left to push India to a decent total and he so did in style, on his own terms.
Rohit scored 24 out of those last 27 runs in two overs, it surely was a game-changing knock that gave India the required momentum.
Imran Nazir's run-out
Dhoni's team India already gave a hint of some exceptional work on field before the final. It was upto them to show the same spirit against Pakistan. Robin Uthappa caught M Hafeez in the slips off RP Singh's bowling but the moment that changed the game was Nazir's (33 runs from 14 balls) run out, a direct hit from Uthappa from mid-off straight at the striker's end sent the dangerous Pakistani batsman packing.
I Pathan's two-wicket over
Halfway into the chase, Pakistan were 70 for 4. They had plenty of batting left. Irfan Pathan two-wicket over to send the experienced-duo of Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi brought Pakistan to 78 for 6 after 12 overs and put them under more pressure.
Irfan eventually finished the match with 3 for 16 from his quota of four overs and was named as the man of the match.
That last over
Misbah-ul-Haq took Harbhajan Singh apart in the final. Joginder Sharma became an obvious choice for MS Dhoni to bowl the final over. Misbah hit one straight over his head for a six on the first ball and gave a heavy jolt to Indian fans watching at the stadium and on TV across the globe.
Joginder with a heart of steel wasn't going anywhere and with the backing of his skipper, he got the wicket of Misbah the very next ball. The entire stadium erupted with joy, so were the Indian squad and the fans all over the world. India became the World T20 Champions in the most dramatic manner.