14 years ago, India won the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007. They beat arch-rivals Pakistan in the final to lift the trophy. The win meant a lot because India were knocked out of the group stage of the ODI World Cup earlier that year. A team of youngsters led by MS Dhoni managed to atone for that debacle in the best possible way.
It was a proper team performance from the Indian batting unit as every player stepped up at some point or the other at crucial junctures. Be it Rohit Sharma's 50* against South Africa in the last group stage match that sealed qualification to the knockouts, or Robin Uthappa's 50 versus Pakistan in the first game - all such contributions went a long way in ensuring India won the World Cup.
On that note, let's take a look at the top five individual batting performances by the Indians at the T20 World Cup 2007.
#1 Yuvraj Singh - 58(16) vs England, Durban
India won the toss and elected to bat first in this all-important fixture. They came into the game following a washout versus Scotland, a win over Pakistan (in a bowl-out), and a 10-run loss against New Zealand. India needed to win this game to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
India batted aggressively from ball one. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir put up 136 runs for the first wicket in 14.4 overs, setting up the perfect foundation for the batsmen to follow. Yuvraj Singh walked in at 155/3 with 20 balls left in the innings. He started off by hitting three fours in his first six deliveries.
After a clash with Andrew Flintoff just before the start of the 18th over, Yuvraj was all fired up. He then became the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over in a T20I, smashing Stuart Broad all around the park. Ravi Shastri's iconic commentary also made it a special memory for Indian fans. The southpaw was eventually adjudged the Man of the Match, with India winning the game by 18 runs.
#2 Gautam Gambhir - 75(54) vs Pakistan, Johannesburg
In the most important game of the tournament, the final, India won the toss and elected to bat first. In the absence of the experienced Virender Sehwag, Yusuf Pathan opened alongside Gautam Gambhir. Pathan got out in the third over for a quick-fire 15 after the duo added 25 runs for the first wicket.
Robin Uthappa (8 off 11 balls), Yuvraj Singh (14 off 19 balls), and MS Dhoni (6 off 10 balls) could not get going, as Gambhir had to do the bulk of the work, scoring about 50 per cent of India's runs in the innings.
He helped India maintain a good run rate throughout the innings, keeping his team firmly in the game.Rohit Sharma's quick-fire 30 towards the end helped India post a respectable total of 157/ 5.
In response, some excellent bowling from Irfan Pathan (who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 3/16), RP Singh and Joginder Sharma helped India to successfully defend the total and win the summit clash by five runs.
#3 Yuvraj Singh - 70(30) vs Australia, Durban
India won the toss and batted first in the semi-finals as well. After his heroics against England in the group stage, the team needed Yuvraj Singh to perform yet again. This time, though, India were in a dire situation at 41/2 in eight overs when he walked in to bat.
Yuvraj stitched together a crucial 84-run partnership in 6.3 overs with Robin Uthappa, with the counter-attacking approach unsettling the Australian attack comprising of Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson.
Yuvraj smashed five fours and as many sixes, and by the time he got out, India were in a much more comfortable situation at 155/4 in 17.3 overs. A final push from MS Dhoni (36 off 18) took India to 188/5. They won the match by 15 runs, with Yuvraj receiving his second Man of the Match award in the tournament.
#4 Rohit Sharma - 50*(40) vs South Africa, Durban
Arguably one of Rohit Sharma's most important knocks in the early phase of his career, it came in a crunch situation. A semi-final berth was on the line for Team India, who won the toss and elected to bat first.
Rohit walked in at 33/3 in 5.1 overs, with Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik back in the hut. It wasn't easy at all as the South African pace unit of Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel were breathing fire. India really needed someone to stabilize the innings and Rohit did exactly that, staying not out.
Rohit structured his innings quite well. He was 28 off 29 balls at the end of the 16th over, batting alongside captain MS Dhoni. He then accelerated in the death overs - adding 22 runs in just 11 balls. He was adjudged the Man of the Match, as India comfortably won the game by 37 runs.
#5 Robin Uthappa - 50(39) vs Pakistan, Durban
After their first game versus Scotland was washed out, India didn't start their World Cup journey on a particularly good note. After being put in to bat first by Pakistan, India lost three early wickets in the form of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh in overcast conditions. Mohammad Asif bowled an impeccable four-over at the top, putting India under tremendous pressure.
Soon after the powerplay overs, Dinesh Karthik was also dismissed. India were struggling to get going at 36/4 when MS Dhoni walked in to bat. Robin Uthappa and Dhoni then added 46 runs for the fifth wicket in 5.3 overs. Against a world-class unit of Asif, Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanvir, and Shahid Afridi, Uthappa played one of his finest knocks for India in the shortest format. He hit four fours and two sixes, scoring most of his runs in the 'V' region and the on-side.
India were 82/5 when Uthappa was dismissed. Lower-order contributions from Irfan Pathan (20) and Ajit Agarkar (14) alongside Dhoni (33) meant that India were able to post 141.
In response, Pakistan equalled India's total. The game went down to a bowl-out. Uthappa contributed to the bowl-out as well by hitting the stumps. Although India won the game, Asif was adjudged the Man of the Match for his spell of 4/18.
Cricket Fans! Always stay a step ahead and updated by joining our cricket page