On this day in 2006, Team India played their first-ever T20I against South Africa in Johannesburg during their 2006-07 tour.
Ironically, the game was scheduled between the fourth and the fifth ODI on a Friday, as the shortest format looked to pick up steam. Following hammerings in three of the four ODIs, with the other game abandoned, India bouncher back in the lone T20I.
The hosts won the toss and batted first in front of a packed crowd at the Wanderers. However, Indian bowlers wrecked the South African batting lineup with regular wickets, restricting them to a below-par 126/9 in 20 overs.
In reply, the Men in Blue stuttered their way on a tacky wicket before an unbeaten 28-ball 31 by Dinesh Karthik helped seal the victory off the penultimate delivery by six wickets.
Here are the highlights of India's maiden T20I game:
The game was also Sachin Tendulkar's solitary T20I of his illustrious career. Tendulkar picked up the crucial wicket of Justin Kemp and scored 10 runs off 12 deliveries.
In less than a year, the Indians, led by MS Dhoni, won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa.
It paved the way for the IPL from the following year, and the tournament has gone from strength to strength to become the World's premier franchise cricket league.
Team India have endured a mixed bag in T20 World Cups
Team India have been among the most inconsistent sides in T20 World Cups, clinching the lone title and qualifying for the knockouts in only four of the eight editions.
After their resounding title run in the inaugural tournament (2007), the Men in Blue did not qualify for the semi-final in the following three editions in 2009, 2010, and 2012. They finally flexed their muscles in the 2014 T20 World Cup and advanced to the final in Bangladesh before suffering a six-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka.
The Asian giants hosted the following World Cup in 2016. However, they could not capitalize on home cooking and lost to eventual champions West Indies in the semi-final.
A jaded Indian side suffered another dismal campaign in 2021, failing to qualify for the semi-final. In the latest edition last year, the Rohit Sharma-led side suffered a humiliating 10-wicket loss to England in the semi-final.
India will look to replicate their heroics from 2007 in the upcoming T20 World Cup at the West Indies and U.S.A in June next year.