It Was After Yuvi’s Six Sixes That We Believed The Title Could Be Won – Lalchand Rajput
Indian cricket was re-born a decade ago when the young side under the helm of a rookie leader by the name of MS Dhoni won the inaugural T20 World Cup. The title win was special for two reasons: Firstly it came just a few months after the disastrous World Cup campaign in West Indies and secondly no one expected the Men in Blue to make an impact in the competition, leave alone the idea of them winning it.
Consequently, a string of breeze of positivity passed upon the Indian cricketing scene and gave birth to a new generation of stars. The newbies were suddenly the stars. As mentioned earlier, the key highlight of the win was that the feat was achieved by a predominantly young side which comprised of players mostly in their twenties.
But, a crucial fact which is often overlooked is that a seasoned man was managing all these young names from behind the scenes throughout their sojourn it was – Lalchand Rajput.
Fresh faces, comeback hopefuls, and a new coach
Rajput’s job was somewhat as crucial as that of the leader of the pack – MS Dhoni, as he joined the coach after the well-documented Greg Chappell fiasco. The responsibility on his shoulder was demanding in nature, but as it turned out, he was just waiting for such a challenging times to arrive in his coaching career.
“I was doing so well with the India under-19 team. That was the year when the under-19 team toured different countries, we went to England, Pakistan, New Zealand…so I was doing really well with the Under-19 boys.”
“It was a challenge by itself because there were no senior players. The atmosphere was very good, both inside and outside the dressing room. For any team’s performance to be better, the atmosphere needs to be good, it is directly proportional… and I think we had a wonderful atmosphere. We had great times together, we joked, laughed, but on the ground, there was no complacency, there was always a 100 percent coming through.”
‘We can win.’
India, as we all know, was far from being called as the favourites. But, the assumption was correct (to some extent) only until the India handed England a royal beating in the keenly fought contest which also witnessed Yuvraj Singh boss over Stuart Broad and hit six sixes an over.
Lalchand Rajput recalls the match as the turning point of the tournament for India.
“I think, it was the England game when Yuvraj (Singh) hit six sixes that was the game when we started believing that we are in this tournament to win it. That belief really went on and then we went on to beat Australia, the only game we lost was against New Zealand. The England game in more ways than one brought us the momentum and we were also able to carry it forward.”
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