When India took the world by storm

World T20 - 2007

When India took the world by storm

India were reluctant entrants to the world of Twenty20 which the rest of the world was fast embracing. India’s initial disliking to the format was obvious given the profits they were making from 50-over games.

That they didn’t mind three of their stalwarts -- Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly -- pulling out of the tournament showed their lack of excitement for the inaugural World T20 held in South Africa in 2007.

India sent a young side under first-time captain MS Dhoni and needless to say they were not the strongest of contenders for the title. Hosts South Africa and a formidable Australia were the most favoured nations to lift the trophy given their composition and relative experience in the shortest version. India, however, turned the calculations upside down with fearless cricket that saw them emerge maiden champions.

That they defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the final was the perfect icing on the cake.The organisers couldn’t have asked for a better advertisement for the format. The World T20 introduced fans to many an exciting contests and innovative rules.

The bowl-out (replaced since by Super Over) to decide the winner in case of a tie was an instant hit as was the fearless hitting hitherto unseen. Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes in an over off Stuart Broad was one of the highlights of the tournament that was dotted with many memorable moments.

The India-Pakistan final, the biggest draw in world cricket, was what exactly the doctor had ordered. India’s triumph in a nervy-finish at Johannesburg was to forever change the face of cricket. India was gripped by T20 mania post their success in 2007, giving birth to the Indian Premier League. The cash-rich league has ensured that the BCCI remains the de facto boss in the game.

Brief scores (final): India: 157/5 in 20 overs (Gautam Gambhir 75, Rohit Sharma 30 n.o.; Umar Gul 3-38) bt Pakistan: 152 all out in 19.3 overs (Imran Nazir 33, Misbah-ul-Haq 43; RP Singh 3-26, Joginder Sharma 2-20, Irfan Pathan 3-16).

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