"Don't give it to bowlers, they'll mess up with their run-up" - Virender Sehwag recalls advice to MS Dhoni for bowl-out vs Pakistan in 2007 World T20

Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni.
Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni. Image: Twitter

Former India captain Virender Sehwag shared his memories of the famous bowl-out between India and Pakistan in the 2007 World T20. The two Asian giants were paired in Group D along with Scotland in the group stage of the inaugural T20 World Cup.

India were reeling at 36 for 4 inside seven overs before the collective efforts of Robin Uthappa (50 off 39 balls), MS Dhoni (33 off 31 balls), and Irfan Pathan (20 off 15 balls) helped them get to 141/9.

Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Misbah-ul-Haq's (53 off 35 balls) kept Pakistan alive in the chase. The equation came down to one run required in the last two balls.

S Sreesanth bowled two excellent deliveries to Misbah as the Pakistan batter was run out on the final ball at the non-striker's end. The scores were level at 141 and the match was decided through a bowl-out.

Five bowlers from each team were to get one chance each to hit the unguarded stumps by bowling at them. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and Robin Uthappa hit the stumps in India's first three attempts, while Pakistan missed all three of theirs, and this decided the contest in India's favor.

Sehwag, who wasn't a regular bowler for India, was the first player to attempt hitting the stumps. The legendary former opener revealed the conversation he had with the team's captain MS Dhoni for the bowl-out strategy. Sehwag told Gaurav Kapur on 'Breakfast with Champions':

"So the very first match ended up in a bowl-out. I told MS (Dhoni) that I'll be going first. I said I will do it as I was confident of hitting. I said don't give it to the bowlers. He asked why so? I said they'll mess up with their run-up.
"It happened since we all had practiced in the warm-ups. So they got used to the bowl-out. I don't know of the other teams."

"The batsmen in the team were hitting the target more often" - Virender Sehwag on India's bowl-out preparations

India and Pakistan became only the second pair to decide the result of a match through a bowl-out in T20 Internationals.

The Indian team management was ready for this type of situation as the coaches would ask all the players, including the batters, to practice for a bowl-out in the warm-up sessions. Speaking about India's preparations, Sehwag said:

"About the bowl-out, we would go for our warm-ups… Then it was a new rule to be used as a tie-breaker. We were like, 'How will a tie happen? That too in T20Is?'
"Still, Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh… They would say for warm-ups, everyone take a ball and hit the wickets. Let's see who hits the most. The batsmen in the team were hitting the target more often. I, Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa, and Rohit Sharma."

New Zealand and West Indies had engaged in the first-ever bowl-out after their game was tied with both teams scoring 126 at Auckland in 2006. The Black Caps defeated the West Indies 3-0 in the bowl-out.

This system of deciding a tied contest has now been replaced with the 'Super Over', which was also used to decide the final of the 2019 ODI World Cup.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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