The final of the T20 World Cup 2007 is the more famous India-Pakistan clash in that tournament, but their earlier meeting was a thrilling game as well.
The group encounter in Durban ended in a tie, with the winner decided on a best of five ‘bowl out’. India won it 3-0.
The bowling coach of India then, Venkatesh Prasad recalled the bowl out where India used part-timers Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa apart from Harbhajan Singh. Pakistan, meanwhile, failed to hit the stumps despite having regular bowlers Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat.
“We had gone through the rules and regulations of the World Cup. When there was a tied game, there was no Super Over back then, there was a bowl out. Obviously we always use to practice it,” Prasad told Ravichandran Ashwin on the Indian off-spinners YouTube show ‘DRS with Ash’.
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“We had this competition between batsmen and bowlers. Most of the batsmen wanted to bowl as well, like MS Dhoni, Sehwag, and Robin Uthappa. We had this competition in these nets,” Prasad explained.
“I was looking at what was happening from behind. So I knew who was hitting the wickets consistently. That’s when I saw Sehwag hitting, Uthappa hitting and Harbhajan hitting,” the former Indian pacer added.
“So we said okay fine. Nobody expected that our very first match will have a bowl-out. It was a tight game. It was a bowl-out. It was not hard for me to convince MS Dhoni, saying ‘these are the guys who are doing well’.
“We had to take our chances as well. We did take a bit of chance there, having Sehwag and Uthappa I had to back my instinct and make a decision. The slower bowlers are more in control of their bodies and delivery. They had a straight-arm action.”
India went on to win the tournament, beating Pakistan in the final in another thrilling clash.