The fever of the World T20 has started gripping the cricket crazy nation of India. In a country like India where Cricket is no less than a religion and cricketers are worshipped like Gods, such a mega event brings about a lot of stimulation and enthusiasm among people. Especially when such a big tournament is held in India, the craze and madness among people reach another level altogether. As far as the World T20 goes, the Indian cricket aficionados have great memories attached with this wonderful tournament. The inaugural World T20 which was held in South Africa in 2007 saw the Men-in-Blue lift the treasured trophy.
At that time, T20 cricket was a new phenomenon among people at large. Forget about people even many teams weren’t use to the pace of the shortest format of the game. But the Indians have adjusted well to the wavelengths of the game.
Today, we will go back in time to experience the overwhelming level of joy and nostalgia as we glance through the most memorable matches of team India in World T20.
SportzWiki presents the Top 5 Greatest Indian World T20 matches:
5. India v Pakistan, Durban, 2007
It was India’s first ever match in World T20 and that too against its Asian counterpart, Pakistan. Mohammad Asif made the most of the helpful seaming conditions at Kingsmead as he ran through the Indian top-order and claimed 4 wickets inside the first 7 overs of the game. But then Robin Uthappa and MS Dhoni steadied the ship as they added 46 runs for the fifth wicket before Uthappa fell for a well-made half-century. India posted a competitive total of 141 runs on the board.
The Pakistani batting followed the same script as the Indian bowlers tore apart their top-order. With 4 wickets in hand and 39 runs to get in the final 14 balls of the match, it seemed the match was over. But out of nowhere Misbah-ul-Haq plundered 53 runs and after 20-overs the scorecard of both the teams read 141 runs each, meaning a dramatic tie. But then India went on to triumph the match by means of a jaw-dropping bowl-out.
4. India v South Africa, Colombo, 2012
This was a high-pressure encounter as the Indians were required to win the match by a suitable margin to ensure a berth in Semi-finals. Batting first, India got off to a poor start as they lost the crucial wickets of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli inside the first six overs. Suresh Raina hammered 45 runs while Yuvraj Singh (21), Rohit Sharma (25) and MS Dhoni (23) played important cameos to take India to a total of 152 runs.
The Men in Blue had the uphill task of restricting the Proteas to 121 runs or below to make it to the Semis. India got the early breakthroughs. But then Faf du Plessis blasted a 38-ball 65 run knock which meant India couldn’t restrict South Africa to 121 runs or below. But the match was not over yet as now India was playing for its pride. And ultimately in an edge of the seat thriller, India tasted victory by just 1 run.
3. India v Australia, Semi-final, Durban, 2007
Keeping in mind, Australia’s dominant displays in big matches of the World Cup, this match was going to be extremely difficult for India. On a flat batting track, MS Dhoni had no hesitation in batting first. But India didn’t get off to the best of starts. Maybe it was destined as then came the Yuvi Storm at the Kingsmead. Yuvraj Singh annihilated the Australian bowling line-up with his awe-inspiring 30-ball 70 run knock and marched India to a humongous total of 188 runs.
But the Aussie boys were also no muck with the bat. The dangerous Queensland pair of Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds was batting with all guns blazing. But then S. Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan grabbed crucial scalps of Hayden and Symonds respectively to turn the tides in favor of India. The Indian team won the match by 15 runs and thereby secured the ticket to Finale as well.
2. India v South Africa, Dhaka, Semi-final, 2014
After making three failed attempts to reach the Semis of the World T20, this time, around India finally made it to the final four. They were facing Proteas who had a history of choking in big matches. But Faf du Plessis who had stood like a wall between India and the Semi-final spot in the previous World T20 was on course to replicate history as he stroked a brilliant half-century. The South Africans scored 172 runs in their quota of 20-overs.
Chasing 173 runs in the big Semi-final match was not easy by any means. But when you have one of the greatest batsmen of the world, Virat Kohli in your ranks then anything is possible. Kohli compiled a master class innings of 72 runs and helped India reach the World T20 finals.
1. India v Pakistan, Johannesburg, Final, 2007
A World T20 final between the arch-rivals, India and Pakistan seemed like an icing on the cake of the inaugural World T20 final in 2007. It gave birth to an electrifying atmosphere at the Wanderers with fans of both the nations flocking the ground. On the big day, the Indians batted first. After losing two wickets in the Power Play overs, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh put on a sparkling partnership of 63 runs for the third wicket. But then India lost the plot as Umar Gul struck twice to remove Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in space of 11 deliveries. Gambhir anchored the innings and made an invaluable contribution of 75 runs to lead India to a total of 157 runs.
After the first half, the Men in Green were ahead in the game. But the Indian bowlers blew away the Pakistani batting line-up like a pack of cards. In an Indo-Pak encounter, you can never count any side out of the game. The match went right up to the wire with Pakistan needing 6 runs off the final 4 deliveries with one in hand and a set Misbah-ul-Haq on strike. Then Misbah scooped Joginder Sharma’s delivery and as they the rest is history. Subsequently, the Indians were crowned the World T20 Champions.