2007 was a very significant year in the history of international cricket. On September 11, 2007, Johannesburg, a 2nd type of World Cup tournament in the 20 overs format of the game, was started. This tournament followed the ODI World Cup held in March-April of that very year.
2 world Cup tournaments in one year is already a record in & of itself. The participating countries in both tournaments were delighted, without a doubt. But the second tournament, although it is kind of a miniature version of the ODI one, did give the teams a 2nd chance to win the ‘champions’ title in the very same year.
Team India grabbed that title by putting in their best game. The squad that played in the T20 World Cup 2007 made all the difference that year, and it came with a lot of differences, all of which played in favor of the India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2007
The 15-member Indian squad that played in the T20 World Cup included MS Dhoni (captain), Yuvraj Singh (vice-captain), Ajit Agarkar, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, S Sreesanth, and Robin Uthappa.
Differences with the ODI World Cup Squad
The difference here is important to analyze as there was a huge difference in the results of both tournaments. India failed to qualify for the Super Eight stage of the ODI World Cup; on the other hand, they won the championship in the T20 World Cup- both held in the same year- about 6 months apart. Surely, practice improved the form & performance, but so did the team formation itself.
This squad didn’t have 4 senior players who were there in the ODI World Cup squad that year- Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble. This squad also didn’t have Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel. But the biggest difference here was in the leadership. MS Dhoni was chosen as the captain of the Indian team in this very tournament.
Team Formation in T20 World Cup 2007
In the ODI tournament, the batting squad was given priority, and there were 8 specialist batsmen and 6 specialist ballers with 1 all-rounder in the 15-member team. On the other hand, Captain Dhoni chose to have an equal number of specialist ballers & batsmen and 3 all-rounders. Clearly, he was not going to leave any stone unturned to ensure the trophy.
Key Performances of Team India in T20 World Cup 2007
The first match of Team India- the first match of MS Dhoni as a captain in all 3 formats- in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2007 was against Scotland, and the match was abandoned after performing only the toss due to rain. The next match was against none other than the arch-rival Pakistan, and this one didn’t have a winner either; that match tied. None of the players performed significantly.
Each team had one batsman scoring a half-century, and Mohammad Asif of Pakistan was titled the ‘Player of the Match’ for picking up 4 wickets. The 3rd match bore an even worse result for both the team and the newly appointed captain. India lost against New Zealand by 10 runs. Daniel Vettori scalped down 4 Indian batsmen along with bagging the ‘Player of the Match’ title.
1st Victory for Captain MS Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni smiled for the first time as the captain of the India National Cricket Team in their 4th match against England. India won by 18 runs in that match. Virender Sehwag scored 68 runs, and Gautam Gambhir & Yuvraj Singh scored 58 runs each. All of these 3 innings were beautifully decorated with enough boundaries.
On the other hand, Indian ballers didn’t let the English batsmen make any sustainable partnership by picking up wickets at regular intervals. Irfan Pathan took 3 wickets, including both the openers, while Harbhajan Singh picked up the important wicket of Kevin Pietersen. Finally, the team selection showed the expected results for Captain Dhoni.
Semi-Final & Final Matches of ICC T20 World Cup 2007
India beat South Africa by 37 runs in the last group match and made it into the semi-finals. There, they beat Australia by 15 runs to reach the final match, to face the arch-nemesis Pakistan. It was a perfect final between two very confident teams who had a great championship journey, and it ended in a breathtaking match when India won the championship by 5 runs!
Against South Africa, Rohit Sharma scored 50 runs, and RP Singh picked up 4 English batsmen to seal the victory. In the semi-final against Australia, Yuvraj Singh sealed the match with his magnificent score of 70 runs from only 30 balls, including 10 boundaries- five 4s and five 6s.
In the final match, Gautam Gambhir carried the baton and scored 75 runs from 54 balls with eight 4s and two 6s. No other batsman made any mentionable score in that match. On the other hand, Indian ballers RP Singh & Irfan Pathan and Pakistani baller Umar Gul- all picked up 3 wickets each.
A Wide, A Six & A Wicket to Win the Final Match for India
India scored a total of 157 runs at the expense of 5 wickets in the final match. In reply to that, Pakistan made 145 runs till the end of the 19th over at the cost of 9 wickets. Pakistan needed 13 runs off 6 balls to win the match. Jogindar Sharma was brought in to ball the 20th over.
The first throw was a wide, and the 3rd one got hit by a six. Pakistan was just 5 runs away with 3 more balls and 1 wicket to go. Anything was possible at this moment! When the 4th ball was thrown, Sreesanth was fielding around the short fine leg, and he didn’t make any mistake when Misbah batted the ball in the air and picked up the perfect catch to end the perfect final!
That was the ultimate goal behind selecting a much younger squad of players for the World Cup. The younger team was much more active and fast. That’s very crucial for a T20 match, and that turned an almost ruled-out team of the ODI World Cup into the champions!