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World T20 2007 – Story of Young Achievers from India

MS Dhoni-led Team India won the inaugural edition of T20 World Cup in 2007.

T20 World Cup 2021: Date, Live Streaming, Full Schedule, Teams, Time, Venues – All you need to know about T20 World Cup
T20 World Cup 2021: Date, Full Schedule, Teams, Time, Venues – All you need to know about T20 World Cup

As we look ahead at the World T20 2021 scheduled to be held in the Middle-East between October 17 and November 14, it’s a good time to switch on the time machine and take our consciousness back to the glorious triumph against all odds achieved by a team of young achievers from India in the first World Cup in the T20 format.

New Combination took field in World T20 2007 under flamboyant MS Dhoni

After a heart-breaking campaign in the ODI World Cup 2007, Team India rejuvenated itself in the same year, to clinch the global title in the shortest format of cricket. Very few had expectations of a title from Team India, who filled many newbies in their squad as stalwarts of Indian cricket Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly pulled out of the first World T20 championship of the new format.

After the withdrawal of these three veterans from the tournament, selectors trusted a rookie player MS Dhoni to lead a team of youngsters despite having more experienced Virendra Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh in the squad.

Team India had played just one T20I before participating in World T20 2007

Team India had played only a single T20I game before the World T20 2007 and Indian cricket was not ready to accept the shortest format of the game so early. However, Dhoni-led new Indian team astoundingly achieved silverware in this global tournament, when no cricket pundits bet on the young Indian squad. It is noteworthy however, that India had won the single T20I game they had played against South Africa a year before World T20 2007. The game was held in South Africa where the first World T20 was eventually held.

Let's see how Team India conquered the world in the new format of the game 14 years ago.

Group Stage encounters

India had been placed in Group D in the 12-team tournament. Group D had Scotland and Pakistan apart from India.

India vs Scotland, Kingsmead:

The first match of Team India against Scotland at Kingsmead in Durban on September 13, 2007 had been abandoned due to rain.

India vs Pakistan, Kingsmead:

India went on to win the thrilling tied match by bowl-out against old rivals Pakistan at the same venue on the next day.

Due to a half-century of Robin Uthappa and a 33-run knock of skipper MS Dhoni, India reached an average tally of 141/9 in the allotted 20 overs. In front of the target of 142 runs, Pakistan could only equal the total of India due to an entertaining fifty by Misbah-ul-Haq. In the bowl out, which was the method to determine a winner in case of a tie, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa hit the stumps for India while Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi missed the stumps when they tried resulting in a win by a margin of 3-0 for India in the match.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup: MS Dhoni-led team defeated Pakistan in 2007 final.
MS Dhoni & Co lift the first edition of T20 World Cup in 2007

India’s encounters in Super 8s – Remembered for the 6 sixes of Yuvraj against England

India qualified for the Super 8s and were placed in Group E along with New Zealand, England and South Africa.

India vs New Zealand, Wanderers:

They lost the match against the Kiwis at Wanderers in Johannesburg on September 16, 2007 due to magical spin bowling from Daniel Vettori who dismissed four batsmen of India. Brendon McCullum (45), Craig McMillan (44) and Jacob Oram (35) propelled their team to 190. Gautam Gambhir (51) and Virendra Sehwag (40) providing the much-needed impetus at the start for India but they were eventually held back 10 runs short of the target through Vettori’s 4/20.

India vs England, Kingsmead:

India’s next encounter was against Englishmen at Kingsmead in Durban on September 19, 2007. This match is etched in the memory of every Indian fan due to the miraculous batting of Sixer King Yuvraj Singh. The left-handed batsman clobbered sixes on every ball of an over by Stuart Broad to help India post a mountainous total of 218/4 in the allotted 20 overs. Yuvraj had scored 58 runs off an astonishing 16 deliveries with 3 fours and 7 sixes to his name.

England had been demoralised and their reply, however meticulous in appearance was always short of the required firepower to chase down a big target like 219. They eventually fell short by 18 runs in what was a ‘Yuvraj Singh Show’ all the way.

India vs South Africa, Kingsmead:

India also vanquished the Proteas by 37 runs due to some menacing pace bowling by RP Singh and fifty of newbie Rohit Sharma.

India had scored 153/5 in the allotted 20 overs mainly on the back of a 85-run stand for the fifth wicket between youngster Rohit Sharma (50*) and captain MS Dhoni (45). RP Singh (4/13) wreaked havoc in the Proteas camp with important wickets of Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Shaun Pollock and Albie Morkel. South Africa managed just 116/9 and fell short of the target by a considerable margin.

India entered the knockouts along with Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand

India topped Group E in the Super 8s stage. With 4 points from their three games and a handsome Net Run Rate (NRR) of 0.750, they trumped New Zealand to occupy the pole position in their group. Group F saw Pakistan and Australia emerge as the two contenders for the semi-final stage.

On September 22, 2007, India had to play the second-ranked team of Group F Australia in the second semi-final of the inaugural World T20 to get a chance to qualify for the final against arch-rivals Pakistan who had overcome New Zealand earlier in the day in the first semi-final.

Semi Final 2: India vs Australia, Kingsmead:

Indian fans found a ray of hope once the Men-in-Blue entered into the semis. It was time for ecstasy over the agony which they experienced after the 2007 ODI World Cup loss earlier in the same year.

Star all-rounder Yuvraj Singh rose to the occasion once again and blasted his way to a 70 off 30 deliveries with 5 sixes and 5 fours. He was ably supported by skipper MS Dhoni who made 36 off 18 deliveries with 1 six and 4 hits to the fence. India ended with 188/5 in what seemed to be a substantial total in a crucial semi-final.

Australian opener Matthew Hayden batted well for his 62 but was eventually dismissed by the most effective bowler for India that night, S Sreesanth who ended with figures of 2/12 from his four overs.

Australia eventually fell short by 15 runs and India were all set to play arch-rivals Pakistan in the Final of World T20 2007.

Final: India vs Pakistan, Wanderers:

India were on the verge of creating history. On September 24, 2007, the day of finals arrived for which all ardent fans were waiting for. Besides finals, the Indian side also had the pressure of facing their arch-rivals Pakistan.

On the night of the final, the entire country was in front of the television at home, shops and offices dotting the landscapes. In the final, Opener Gautam Gambhir scored an all-important knock of 75 runs off 54 balls to help India to a fighting total of 157 runs. Pakistan pacer Umar Gul (3/28) pegged India back but due to a valiant 30* off 16 deliveries from youngster Rohit Sharma, India eventually crossed the 150-run mark.

As Pakistan started the chase, India seamers RP Singh (3/26) and Irfan Pathan (3/16) ran through the batting line-up of Pakistan to leave them in tatters on 77-6 from 11.4 overs. India’s victory looked imminent from that point. However, Pakistan’s number 6 batsman Misbah-ul-Haq (43) went on to hold fort till the dying stages of the match for Pakistan and that proved to be the biggest hurdle for India that day.

In the last over of the game, Pakistan required 13 runs while India needed only one wicket to defeat the old foe. Dhoni had handed the ball to the rookie pacer, Joginder Sharma. To add to India’s woes, Misbah hit Sharma for a six on the second ball of the last over. Pakistan now needed just six runs from four balls.

However, there was more to the story that day. On the third ball of the over, Misbah acted clever and tried a scoop shot behind the wicket off Sharma only to pick fielder Sreesanth and India won the trophy by winning a historical moment in the final over.

India left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan was named Player of the Match for his important spell of 3/16 and Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was declared the Player of the Series.

But it was India Opener Gautam Gambhir with his well-measured knock of 75 who was the critical contributor in India’s victory that day.

T20 Revolution sparked in India post victory

This win led to the T20 revolution in the cricket world assisted by the arrival of Indian Cricket League (ICL) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) backed Indian Premier League (IPL).

Top Run-scorers for India in World T20

For India, Gautam Gambhir was the highest run-scorer in the World T20 2007. The left-handed batsman amassed 227 runs in seven matches with the help of three half-centuries. Indian skipper MS Dhoni couldn't hit any fifty, still, he scored 154 runs in the world title campaign and finished second in the list of run-scorers for India.

Yuvraj Singh hammered two destructive half-centuries against England and Australia. Swashbuckling opener Virendra Sehwag and Uthappa also scored more than 100 runs for India in World T20 2007.

Highest Wicket-takers for India in World T20

RP Singh became India’s premier bowler in the World T20 with 12 wickets in seven games, whereas the left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan scalped ten wickets in the campaign.

Off-Spinner Harbhajan Singh snared seven wickets in the tournament, while Kerala-born pacer Sreesanth bagged six wickets. Final over hero Joginder Sharma picked up four wickets from four games in the tournament.

World T20 2007 finalists India and Pakistan find them in the same group in World T20 2021. It is important to note that this World T20 is being played after a gap of five years as the last edition was played in India in 2016 and was won by West Indies.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 Schedule Out

According to T20 World Cup 2021 schedule released by International Cricket Council (ICC), India will begin their campaign against Pakistan in Dubai on October 24. On October 31, India will play New-Zealand and on November 3, Virat Kohli-led side will face Afghanistan in Dubai. In the last two fixtures, India will play Group B first-place and Group A second-place on November 5 and 8 respectively.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 final will be played on November 14 in Dubai at 7:30 PM IST.

Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia

Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman

Round 1 qualifiers (Time in IST)

Oct. 17 - Oman v Papua New Guinea, Muscat (3:30 pm) Oct. 17 - Bangladesh v Scotland, Muscat (7:30 pm)

Oct. 18 - Ireland v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi (3:30 pm) Oct. 18 - Sri Lanka v Namibia, Abu Dhabi (7:30 pm)

Oct. 19 - Scotland v Papua New Guinea, Muscat (3:30 pm)

Oct. 19 - Oman v Bangladesh, Muscat (7:30 pm)

Oct. 20 - Namibia v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi (3:30 pm)

Oct. 20 - Sri Lanka v Ireland, Abu Dhabi (7:30 pm)

Oct. 21 - Bangladesh v Papua New Guinea, Muscat (3:30 pm)

Oct. 21 - Oman v Scotland, Muscat (7:30 pm)

Oct. 22 - Namibia v Ireland, Sharjah (3:30 pm)

Oct. 22 - Sri Lanka v Netherlands, Sharjah (7:30 pm)

Super 12

Group 1 fixtures

Oct. 23 - Australia vs South Africa 3:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Oct. 23 – England vs West Indies 7:30 pm Dubai

Oct. 24 – A1 vs B2 3:30 pm Sharjah

Oct. 26 – South Africa vs West Indies – 3:30 pm Dubai

Oct. 27 – England vs B2 – 3:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Oct. 28 – Australia vs A1 – 7:30 pm Dubai

Oct. 29 – West Indies vs B2 – 3:30 pm Sharjah

Oct. 30 – South Africa vs A1 – 3:30 pm Sharjah

Oct. 30 – England vs Australia – 7:30 pm Dubai

Nov. 1 – England vs A1 – 7:30 pm Sharjah

Nov. 2 – South Africa vs B2 – 3:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Nov. 4 – Australia vs B2 – 3:30 pm Dubai

Nov. 4 – West Indies vs A1 – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Nov. 6 – Australia vs West Indies – 3:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Nov. 6 – England vs South Africa – 7:30 pm Sharjah

Group 2 fixtures

Oct. 24 - India vs Pakistan 7:30 pm Dubai

Oct. 25 – Afghanistan vs B1 7:30 pm Sharjah

Oct. 26 – Pakistan vs New Zealand 7:30 pm Sharjah

Oct. 27 – B1 vs A2 – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Oct. 29 – Afghanistan vs Pakistan – 7:30 pm Dubai

Oct. 31 – Afghanistan vs A2 – 3:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Oct. 31 – India vs New Zealand – 7:30 pm Dubai

Nov. 2 – Pakistan vs A2 – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Nov. 3 – New Zealand vs B1 – 3:30 pm Dubai

Nov. 3 – India vs Afghanistan – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Nov. 5 – New Zealand vs A2 – 3:30 pm Sharjah

Nov. 5 – India vs B1 – 7:30 pm Dubai

Nov. 7 – New Zealand vs Afghanistan – 3:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Nov. 7 – Pakistan vs B1 – 7:30 pm Sharjah

Nov. 8 – India vs A2 – 7:30 pm Dubai

Play Off & Final

Nov. 10 – Semi-Final 1 – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

Nov.11 – Semi- Final 2 – 7:30 pm Dubai

Nov. 14 – Final – 7:30 pm Dubai


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