Former Indian cricketer Joginder Sharma is famous for his final over heroics against arch-rivals Pakistan in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup final in 2007.
In a conversation with Star Sports, the pacer revealed his close chats with then-Indian captain MS Dhoni during a nerve-wreaking last over.
Joginder revealed that when Dhoni raised his hand towards him, he was excited to bowl the last over. He also shared that the former Indian captain fully assured him not to worry about the end result.
The pacer was also confident of delivering for the Men in Blue. He said:
“When Mahi raised his hand towards me, I was excited to bowl. He told me not to think about the loss or win because even if we lose, the blame will come on him, so don’t take any tension. I told him we wouldn’t lose but win the match. They need 13 runs with one wicket in hand, and I will get a wicket.”
“I bowled the first ball wide. He told me that the ball was swinging. Our target was to bowl outside the off-stump and because of the out-swing, the ball ended as wide. Everyone thought I was under pressure, but that was not the case. I was happy that the ball was swinging. It was surprising to see the ball swing in the 20th over. Whenever the ball swings, I always raise my hand.”
Gautam Gambhir top-scored for India with 75 runs off 54 balls as Dhoni and Co. scored 157/5 in 20 overs. In reply, Pakistan were bowled out for 152. The Player of the Match Irfan Pathan and RP Singh scalped three wickets each in the 2007 T20 World Cup final.
“I changed the length” – Joginder Sharma explains his strategy to dismiss Mishab-ul-Haq in T20 World Cup final
Pakistan batter Mishbah-ul-Haq, who top-scored for Pakistan with 38-ball 43, was the only hope for the Men in Green in the T20 World Cup final on September 24, 2007.
With 13 runs required off the last six balls, Joginder explained how he changed the length [of the third delivery] after being hit for a six off the second ball, which resulted in Misbah's wicket.
“When I was about to bowl, Misbah was pre-mediated for the scoop. Automatically, we had planned to bowl yorker outside the off-stump. After three yorkers, Mishabh expected another yorker, but I changed the length, took off the pace, and the ball took a thick edge and went to Sreesanth. He took a brilliant catch and we won the T20 World Cup.”
Joginder Sharma is currently playing in the second edition of the Legends Cricket League.