India’s first ever match in the Twenty20 World Cup was against Pakistan since their match against Scotland in the first of the two group stage games was washed out. Yes, the one with the bowl out. Only the second time that has ever occurred in the history of the T20I.
There are several different points in time, beginning with that evening in Durban, that can be credited for changing the status of the game. The position of the keeper was the one that stood out the most in cricket’s own version of the penalty shootout.
Dhoni aligned himself by sitting down on his knees closer to the stumps so that the bowler could pitch the delivery in the line of the stumps. This allowed Dhoni to assist the bowler in pitching the delivery in the line of the stumps. This is in contrast to the positioning of the other keepers in the T20I bowlout, which included Brendon McCullum, DeneshRamdin, and Kamran Akmal, who all stood in their customary keeping line further out from the stumps.
In hindsight, India’s decision to use slower bowlers rather than Pakistan’s choice to use faster bowlers appears to have been the correct one. And despite the fact that Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa were considered unconventional selections by a number of people at the time, the captain of India at the time, MS Dhoni, was not of that opinion.
“It was our bowling coach and a smart cricketing brain, Venkatesh Prasad, who first said that we should practise the bowl-outs,” Robin Uthappa, who would doff his hat and bow after hitting bullseye, recently told The Indian Express.
“It was Venkatesh Prasad, who first said that we should practise the bowl-outs.”
“After the majority of our periods spent practising, we would also train for this. They divided us up into teams consisting of batsmen and bowlers. It was the batsmen that were successful the majority of the time. The three batters who were most successful in hitting the stumps were Viru pa, myself, and Rohit (Sharma). I hurried up to MS Dhoni as soon as it became clear that the bowl-out would be played that night and told him, “I have to bowl, guy.” You have no choice but to hand up the ball to me. After observing my self-assurance and the intensity of my feelings, he responded with “okay.” I was positive about my chances because I had the best performance in the training.”
The affiliation that Misbah ulHaq had with Twenty20 Internationals was quite brief when compared to his careers in One Day Internationals (2002-2015) and Test Matches (2001-2017). (2007-2012). However, it was clear that he had an effect on Pakistan’s performance in the inaugural World Cup. The one who, acting alone, came perilously close to preventing India from winning the championship in South Africa. Through the two Twenty20 International innings that he played against the men in blue.
Both times, the 33-year-old player came into the game with four outs on the board, making the task at hand an almost impossible one. In both of the matches, he aimed the majority of his shots towards India’s lone full-time spinner to score the majority of his runs. And in both of the games, he analysed the situation and figured out how to advance forward in the competition.
In the championship match, while India was bowling consecutive overs with Harbhajan from the same end, Misbah aimed his shots three times at the shorter mid-wicket boundary during the off spinner’s third over.
Before the last over of the match, Ravi Shastri would declare on the broadcast, “This guy has nerves of steel.” Misbah was unfazed by either the play itself or the fact that he failed to hit his first legitimate delivery. It’s possible that Joginder Sharma’s first wide gave away his state of mind when it came to the game. Maybe Misbah knew he’d get his time, just like against Harbhajan. Sharma was particularly interested in the land to the outside. And outside off was where he delivered a third consecutive delivery, this time missing the length and being hit for a home run similar to that scored in baseball.
Even if the subsequent delivery knocked the cup out of Pakistan’s figurative reach, the two innings that he played for Pakistan cannot be diminished in any way by the fact that he was the recipient of it. And Misbah’s error certainly assisted in the smooth launch of the Indian Premier League; with India prevailing and the format being a success, who could stop Lalit Modi?
As a batter, Virat Kohli has already established his pattern of contributing more than half of the team’s batting totals, as he did in this specific matchup. During the Asia Cup almost six months ago, Pakistan was on the receiving end of Kohli’s best one-day international innings (183). The 23-year-old bowler with a stubble who came in to bowl from the Maligawatte End in a game that absolutely had to be won was not on the lesson plan for Mohammed Hafeez and his teammates.
Hafeez himself was on the receiving end of Kohli’s full force as a bowler. Even though wickets were falling at the other end of the field, the opener who was serving as captain of Pakistan at the time was able to stay in the middle until the 10th over. Already in the ninth over, Dhoni gave the ball to Kohli, making him the sixth new bowler he used.
He had him trying to direct the ball through the off by moving outside the leg, and eventually played the ball against his leg stump. Earlier, the right arm medium had thudded one onto Hafeez’s pad.
When there were only 60 runs on the board, half of Pakistan’s players had already gone back into the hut. Kohli’s figures? After two overs, you have given up six runs and taken a wicket. After the innings was finished, Ravichandran Ashwin gave the one and only recorded interview in which he stated that he believed Virat bowled wonderfully.
His third over would cost 15 more runs, but there was no use in rehashing it after the match since Kohli, as a batter, made up for what he lacked as a bowler. 78 runs not out off 61 balls to help steer an eight-wicket victory.
After that innings, Kohli has gone on to have three more unbeaten ones, including two fifty-plus scores against Pakistan in the World Cups of 2014, 2016, and 2021 respectively. After a decade has passed, the words spoken by the Indian captain in 2012 feel foreign: “Good to see Virat assuming the burden.”