Venkatesh Prasad, who was the bowling coach during the inaugural edition of T20I World Cup prepared the Men in Blue for bowl-out which happened during their encounter against Pakistan. In the group stage match which was tied was decided via a bowl-out and Indians Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh hit the stumps as India won the match along with the bowl-out.
India’s first match against Scotland was abandoned and so the league match against Pakistan was the first match. India scored 141 losing 9 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs mainly due to Robin Uthappa’s half-century.
Besides Robin Uthappa, skipper MS Dhoni scored 33 but the others failed to score more than 20 runs. Mohammad Asif took four wickets. In reply, Pakistan’s skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored 53 but were tied at 141 for 7 as Indian bowlers led by Irfan Pathan bowled well.
Venkatesh Prasad Advised To Play Bowl-outs More Often Than Playing Football During Training As Per Robin Uthappa
India who were the eventual winners of T20I World Cup 2007 practised bowl-outs more often than playing footballs during training sessions as advised by the then bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad.
“Before every practice, we used to play a game after warm-up, so what Venky (Venkatesh Prasad) did was instead of playing football, he said let’s play bowl out (batsman vs bowlers). Among the batsmen, Sehwag, Rohit, and me (Robin) used to get a hit very often,” Uthappa recalled.
India almost lost the match but somehow managed to tie it mainly due to S Sreesanth running out Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq with the help of Robin Uthappa after scoring 53 of only 35 balls with the help of 7 fours and 1 six.
Robin Uthappa spoke on Star Sports’ special episode of Cricket Connected chat show named ‘Watch Along of the 2007 ICC World T20 between India and Pakistan’.
“So, when this match (10th Match, ICC World Twenty20 at Durban, Group D) got tied, we were very excited and jubilant to be very honest because it was a match we almost lost and we managed to tie it. If you go and look at the game, it was a losing game, Sreesanth bowled really well and we tied the game,” he recalled the match against Pakistan.
MS Dhoni-led a relatively inexperienced side in the first T20I World Cup and the team defeated Pakistan in the nail-biting final too by only a margin of 5 runs.
Robin Uthappa Credits Skipper MS Dhoni For Getting Chance In Bowl-out
Robin Uthappa credited skipper MS Dhoni for getting a chance to hit the stumps. It was the first game as captain for MS Dhoni who went on to become India’s most successful skipper ever. Robin Uthappa, who plays purely as a batsman asked MS Dhoni for permission which was given without hesitation by MS Dhoni.
“Once we tied the game, emotions were very high and so was our confidence. I have to give credit to MS Dhoni at that point in time.”
“At a very young age in his first tournament and his first game as captain, a guy went up to him, his teammate went up to him saying, who is a non-bowler and is not his main skill, went up to him and said ‘I have to bowl and I’m going to hit the stumps’ and I swear he (Dhoni) didn’t even bat an eyelid and said ‘ok bowl’,” Uthappa further said.
In the final too India beat Pakistan by 5 runs despite posting a below-par score of 157/5 mainly due to Gautam Gambhir’s 75 of only 54 balls. Misbah-ul-Haq scored 43 but was the last man out as Joginder Sharma took his wicket in the final over while Sreesanth took his catch as Pakistan were bowled out for 152.