Yuvraj Singh Recalls the Incredible Journey of the 2007 World Twenty20 Triumph
It sometimes seems surreal that we had passed a decade when India won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 way back in 2007. Not many people gave them a chance ahead of the tournament with many of the senior players opting out of the tournament. It also saw Yuvraj Singh smashing England fast bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over, and the man himself has relieved those moments several times.
Ahead of the infamous Stuart Broad over, Yuvraj had an animated verbal duel with Andrew Flintoff which ignited him to unleash those big shots. He took a dig at Flintoff with his blade, and it was visible from the all-rounder’s face that he was regretting his actions. It was power hitting at it’s very best. There was not a single area in the park which got spared, as Yuvraj went mayhem.
After smashing five sixes, Yuvraj expected a Yorker from Broad for the final delivery, and it was what he got.
“I knew what he was thinking. A yorker. I was in a similar situation once,” recalls Yuvraj. Speaking of what was going on his mind when he had smashed the 4th six, Yuvraj said, “Honestly, after the fourth six I thought it could be six in six. I had to exploit the onside. The midwicket boundary was shorter. I anticipated the yorker and was glad to receive one.
“It was great fun because of the knock kind of set the trend for the team. We went on to beat South Africa in the next match, and nothing was going to stop us from there,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying during a candid chat with the Hindu.
“The T20 World Cup,” remembered Yuvraj, “was a wonderful journey. The team was full of youngsters. We decided to have fun and not attract needless pressure like we had in the West Indies [failing to qualify for the second stage of the ICC World Cup]. We told ourselves not to have any fear of losing and basically play positive.”
“It was a crucial phase for Indian cricket. By claiming the trophy, we won the faith of our fans. Cricket went on an unprecedented high from that point and set up the process that culminated with the glorious 2011 World Cup triumph in Mumbai.”
He further added the 2007 World Twenty20 was more enjoyable than the 2011 World Cup, as no one expected them to go a long way in the tournament.
“The 2007 ICC World Twenty20 was more enjoyable than the 2011 win, said Yuvraj. “In 2011 we played under severe pressure. It was Sachin’s last cup, and we were all stressed out after every match. In 2007, there were little expectations from us. It worked in our favour.”
The final of the tournament was an epic contest between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, and it was the blunder by Misbah-ul-Haq in the last over which eventually helped India clinch the maiden World Twenty20 title.
“Oh, that was unbelievable. Misbah was hitting that shot when he could have slammed the ball anywhere in front. Sreesanth taking that catch was incredible too. When I saw him getting under the ball, I just closed my eyes because Sree was known to drop catches. But then Sree is such an unpredictable guy. He held the catch and with that the cup.”
Yuvraj also revealed that Harbhajan Singh was slated to bowl the final over, but he told Dhoni he wasn’t particularly confident with his Yorkers and asked him to not take a chance with him.
“But Bhajji said he was not confident of getting his yorkers. He told MS (Dhoni) not to take a chance with him. So MSD tossed the ball to Jogi. Thanks to Misbah, we made history.”
According to Yuvraj,
“The bowlers won us the tournament. We enjoyed each other’s company, and the camaraderie grew with every match. Everyone just expressed himself loudly on the field. Most importantly there was no coach (like Greg Chappell) to shackle our natural flair.”
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