Write an Article Live Scores App

Stairway to redemption: India's 2007 T20 World Cup win over Pakistan


The Indian team raises ICC World Twenty20 trophy after defeating Pakistan in the final at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg, 24 September 2007. (Getty Images)

The Indian team raises ICC World Twenty20 trophy after defeating Pakistan in the final at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg, 24 September 2007. (Getty Images)

Circa March 2007. India had just been tossed out of the ICC World Cup by the youthful Bangladesh and the experienced Sri Lankans. A massive backlash by the fans and the general public greeted the players after their Caribbean sojourn ended in heartbreak.

There had even been reports of vandalism; Jharkhand wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s half-constructed house was damaged by infuriated activists, who held the long-haired cricketer’s poor showing with the bat responsible, in part, for the international debacle.

Greg Chappell, the controversial coach of the side, also came in for heavy criticism from all quarters; he eventually opted not to renew his contract with the BCCI.

Chappell’s constant tinkering with the batting line up, forced Sachin Tendulkar to play in the middle-order. Previous rows with former captain Sourav Ganguly were also considered to be important factors for India’s unceremonious exit from cricket’s quadrennial showpiece.

Months later, the International Cricket Council (ICC) mooted another world championship for promoting the Twenty20 format. India’s veteran triumvirate of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Rahul Dravid decided to opt out, contending that the shortest version was meant for the younger lot. A new captain was chosen, fresh legs were drafted into the squad and off they went to South Africa.

No one, not even the most ardent Indian fan, believed that this bunch stood a chance. The humiliation suffered in the West Indies hung heavily over the side; the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag and skipper Dhoni had more than a point to prove.

The entire contingent was looking for redemption.

Gautam Gambhir, the left-handed Delhi opener, revived his cricket career with blistering performances through the tournament. He, along with state-mate Sehwag, gave his side the starts they needed.

Rohit Sharma, in his first outing for the senior team, came good with a couple of fine innings, while Uthappa, under-fire for blowing hot and cold since his ODI debut a year ago, also came good with the bat.

Yuvraj, on his own redemption trail, scorched the stands with an incredible display of power hitting – the six sixes he struck off Stuart Broad still bring smiles to Indian faces. RP Singh and Irfan Pathan too re-discovered their form, while Harbhajan Singh got the zing back in his bag of tricks. Riding on their performances, India stormed into the final against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Over to September 24, 2007. The Bull Ring, as the Wanderers Stadium is known as, was chock-a-bloc with supporters of both teams waving their respective flags and shouting themselves hoarse. The Men in Blue stepped out to make first use of the wicket in conditions tailor-made for batting.

Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul, however, had different plans. The all-too-familiar collapse that India had worked so hard to get rid of returned with a vengeance, as the two Pakistani seamers made the ball talk.

Uthappa, Yuvraj and Dhoni fell early without troubling the scorers too much, and the Indian supporters began to fear that their side might once again fall at the final hurdle. Gambhir produced the only innings of note by utilizing his ‘walking down the track’ approach, while Rohit’s quick cameo enabled the team to make a decent score.

Page 1 of 2 Next

Sri Lanka’s lack of intent coming back to haunt them time and again Sri Lanka has lost matches by playing defensively. By being aggressive, they have nothing to lose.
Narsingh's failing dope test raised in RS
Virender Sehwag leads birthday wishes for Jonty Rhodes on Twitter It is Jonty Rhodes' 47th birthday today and Virender Sehwag had something hilarious for the South African.
Decoding the Yasir Shah conundrum From his success at Lords to getting neutralised at Old Trafford, Shah must have realised that you never take success for granted.
Lohmann, Morris, Muttiah Muralitharan and Rolton to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame The off-spinner becomes the first Sri Lankan player to be inducted.
7 incidents which prove Rahul Dravid has a heart of gold Rahul Dravid is one of the few players to score more than 10000 runs in both Tests and ODIs.
Australia nose ahead despite Herath strikes
Stokes injury leaves a hole in England team, says Bayliss
CPL 2016: Umar Akmal denies St Lucia Zouks perfect home record Despite Darren Sammy's heroics, Zouks lost for the first time at home this season.
MS Dhoni and Spartan Sports bury the hatchet, join hands again India's limited-overs skipper set to continue partnership with the sports brand.
Cricketers salute Indian soldiers on 17th anniversary of Kargil War Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag lead heartfelt tribute to the martyrs of the war.
Gayle aiming to whip up a storm at historic Hero CPL clashes in Lauderhill Tallawahs captain excited to be part of new beginning for CPL in USA
Narsingh's family alleges conspiracy, stage sit-in
China's tough selection highlights likely domination
Live: 1st Test: Sri Lanka vs Australia Live: 1st Test: Sri Lanka vs Australia. SL 6/1
LIVE: SL Zouks vs TK Riders LIVE: SL Zouks vs TK Riders. TKR 168/7
5 players you did not know kept wickets Expect some unexpected names on the list of non-wicketkeepers who have kept wickets.
Cricket South Africa mooting plans for launching new global T20 league The Ram Slam T20 competition is failing to attract big-name players due to a weak economy and poor scheduling.
Andre Russell admits worry over doping controversy The West Indies allrounder thanked his friends and well-wishers for keeping his mind away from the doping controversy to a certain extent.
New Zealand opener Tom Latham believes patience is the key for success in Zimbabwe Latham warned against taking the Zimbabwean side lightly, especially as they will be playing in their home conditions.
Alastair Cook believes Joe Root's positivity helps 'blockers like him' to thrive England skipper delighted with the emphatic victory at Old Trafford.
West Indies vs India 2016: Ian Bishop lauds Virat Kohli's aggressive captaincy Bishop feels Ravichandran Ashwin will have to bat consistently against all teams to be considered as a proper allrounder.
More →
Related articles