On September 24, 2007, cricket history was etched with golden letters as India, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, clinched their first-ever ICC World T20 title. The thrilling victory over Pakistan in the final at Johannesburg remains a cherished memory for Indian cricket fans. But what made this triumph even more special were the heroic contributions from relatively unsung heroes like Gautam Gambhir, Joginder Sharma, and Yusuf Pathan.
Gautam Gambhir’s composed 75 runs off 54 balls in the final was the bedrock of India’s innings. Facing the arch-rivals Pakistan, Gambhir played a responsible knock that anchored the innings when wickets were falling at the other end. His innings laid the foundation for India’s competitive total of 157/5.
Throughout the tournament, Gambhir displayed remarkable consistency, scoring 227 runs at an average of 37.83. His ability to anchor the innings and rotate strike was instrumental in India’s success.
However, the final over of the match is etched in every cricket fan’s memory. India needed 13 runs to defend, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni handed the ball to Joginder Sharma, a move that raised a few eyebrows. But the Haryana all-rounder repaid the captain’s faith with a memorable over.
With Pakistan needing 6 runs off 4 balls, Joginder Sharma bowled a nervy wide and was immediately under immense pressure. But he held his nerve, and the next three deliveries went for just 1 run, bringing the equation to 5 runs needed off the last ball. That’s when Joginder Sharma produced a moment of magic, inducing a mis-hit from Misbah-ul-Haq, and Sreesanth took the catch. India won by 5 runs, and Joginder Sharma became an overnight hero.
#OnThisDay in 2007!
Relive that title-winning moment 🎥 👇 pic.twitter.com/wvz79xBZJv
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 24, 2021
Yusuf Pathan’s contributions in the tournament were somewhat understated, but he played a crucial role with both bat and ball. He scored vital runs and took crucial wickets, particularly in the group stage match against Pakistan, where he scored a quick 15 runs and took 3 wickets, earning him the Man of the Match award.
The 2007 ICC World T20 triumph was a turning point for Indian cricket. It not only marked India’s emergence as a dominant force in the shortest format but also paved the way for the Indian Premier League (IPL). Several members of the victorious squad, including Gautam Gambhir, Joginder Sharma, and Yusuf Pathan, became stalwarts in Indian cricket and had successful IPL careers.
On the 16th anniversary of this historic triumph, cricket fans fondly remember the contributions of these unsung heroes. Gautam Gambhir’s consistency, Joginder Sharma’s last-over heroics, and Yusuf Pathan’s all-round performances played a significant role in India’s memorable journey to becoming the inaugural ICC World T20 champions. The victory laid the foundation for India’s T20 cricketing success in the years to come, making it a memorable milestone in the nation’s cricketing history.