Rohit Sharma recounted the events that unfolded during the last over of India’s victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. He recollected how teammate Yuvraj Singh turned the other way, afraid to look up as he expected S Sreesanth might drop the catch.
Six runs were required off the final four deliveries when Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq attempted to scoop the ball over the short fine leg off the bowling of Joginder Sharma. S Sreesanth completed the catch on the edge of the circle to clinch the inaugural T20 World Cup title for India.
Rohit Sharma: The Moment Misbah-ul-Haq Played The Shot, Yuvraj Singh Turned Around To Not Watch Fearing S Sreesanth May Drop It
“I was standing at covers that particular ball. Yuvi was at point. The moment Misbah played that shot, I saw Yuvi turning around. He was not watching because he thought he was going to drop it,” Rohit Sharma said.
The Indian team for T20I World Cup 2007 was fairly young, captained by a 26-year-old MS Dhoni. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, and Zaheer Khan had opted out of the tournament. MS Dhoni, who was on the rise, was given the reins of the team, and he created history with a bunch of youngsters. India defeated Pakistan in the final, played in Johannesburg, to claim the inaugural T20 World title.
Rohit Sharma Felt Surreal To Be Part Of India-Pakistan Final Match At 2007 T20I WC
The current Indian vice-captain reckons that S Sreesanth wouldn’t have experienced as much pressure in his life as he would have when the ball came at him.
“I was praying that just catch it. He didn’t have to move much. It was just there. He just moved two, three steps back and took it. It was the most pressure catch that he must have taken in his life.”
“At the stadium, you could only see India and Pakistan fans. I think more was India. Now, it feels surreal. It’s just unbelievable what we did on that day.”
The 34-year-old added that performing for India in the World Cup final at that point felt like a dream.
“I was 20 years old at that point and for me, to be in the final of the World Cup, of an inaugural T20 World Cup, was itself a great deal. And then to be playing the finals, and just going out there, scoring runs and taking catches and taking wickets, and seeing all the magic happen on the field was like a dream.”
India and Pakistan will once again face each other in a T20I World Cup when they play their opening match of the Super 12 stage on Sunday in the 2021 edition.
Yuvraj Singh featured in two World Cup wins for India (T20 World Cup in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011). In the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh scored only 148 runs in the tournament, with two fifties. But he got those runs at a strike rate close to 195. In the tournament, his 12-ball half-century against England remains the fastest fifty in international cricket as he hit 6 sixes in one over off Stuart Broad.
With 362 runs at an average of 90.5 and 15 wickets at an average of 25.13, he was a key player in India’s second ODI World Cup Win after a hiatus of 28 years, and deservingly won the Player of the Tournament award.
India squad for T20 World Cup 2007: MS Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Yuvraj Singh (vice-captain), Ajit Agarkar, Piyush Chawla, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, S. Sreesanth, Robin Uthappa