India’s memorable T20 internationals moments thRough the years...
World T20 triumph in 2007
Given the strident opposition that India’s officials reserved for the shortest format of the game, not many people expected MS Dhoni’s men to excel at the inaugural World T20 in South Africa. A pathetic performance at the ODI World Cup in the West Indies earlier that year, followed by the cavalier announcement of the Indian Cricket League had left fans wondering where Indian cricket was headed. That’s when Dhoni & Co sprang a massive surprise, beating Pakistan by five runs to win the tournament. The reception which the team received on arrival in rain-drenched Mumbai is still fresh in every cricket lover’s mind, and if one were to list out turning points in India’s rich cricketing history, the triumph at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg will certainly count amongst them.
Yuvraj Singh’s 6 sixes in 2007 World T20
Yuvraj Singh’s demolition of England pacer Stuart Broad easily ranks amongst T20’s most memorable moments. There was little to suggest that the dashing left-hander would go after the lanky fast bowler, but that’s how it unfolded with Yuvraj’s savagery – he smashed six sixes in the 19th over – catapulting him into the ranks of Sir Garfield Sobers, Ravi Shastri and Herschelle Gibbs who had recorded similar feats in senior cricket.
WHACK: Yuvi belts Broad
Suresh Raina’s 101 against South Africa in 2010
Suresh Raina is yet to realise his potential in Test cricket, but he becomes a different beast when it comes to the shortest format of the game. With 840 runs @ 33.6, he only trails Gautam Gambhir (932 runs) in India’s T20 run-making charts, and he also holds the record for becoming India’s first batsman to hit a 100 in T20 cricket. He smashed 101 off only 60 balls against South Africa three years ago. This knock included nine boundaries and five sixes and needless to say, India won by 14 runs.
Pulling through: Suresh Raina slams this one to the ropes in a T20i in 2012
Harbhajan Singh’s 4-12 against England in 2012
Harbhajan Singh may have fallen out of the selection radar of late, but it was only a year ago that he recorded the best bowling figure by an Indian in the shortest format of the game. He struck four times, giving away only 12 runs as India thrashed England by a whopping 90 runs in the 2012 World T20 at Colombo.
Royal thrashing at 2009 World T20
For all the hoopla surrounding India with regards to T20 cricket -- they had won the 2007 World T20 title and also made the first edition of the Indian Premier League the following year a roaring success – a reality check was waiting for Dhoni & Co in England in 2009. They looked a pale shadow of the side that had won the tournament in South Africa and were sent crashing out of the second edition of the World T20, having lost to West Indies, England and South Africa successively.
Poor show at 2010 World T20 Similar fate awaited the Indians in the next edition of the World T20 as well in the West Indies. They started off convincingly against Afghanistan and South Africa, but three straight losses to Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka ensured that MS Dhoni’s men returned empty handed once again.
A few ironies along the way
Initial contempt for T20 Indian administrators displayed nothing but contempt for T20 at a time English fans were lapping it up. Mandarins in the Board of Control for Cricket in India would just have nothing to do with Twenty20 cricket. That was before India’s astonishing victory in South Africa, followed up by Lalit Modi’s vision that brought the Indian Premier League into existence. The rest as they say, is history.
Greats stayed away
Unlike what we see these days, experts in 2007 believed T20 was a young man’s sport, and that probably is what influenced the legends Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly to stay out of contention for the squad that toured South Africa for the inaugural World T20.
Greats like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly had long associations with the Indian Premier League which began in 2008. Ganguly’s IPL career was a controversial one.
India’s highest T20i run-scorers
Gambhir (top): 932 runs @ 27.41
Suresh Raina: 840 runs @ 33.60
Yuvraj Singh: 791 runs @ 30.40
MS Dhoni: 748 runs @ 31.16
Virat Kohli: 558 runs @ 34.87
Rohit Sharma: 531 runs @ 29.50
India’s most successful bowlers
Irfan Pathan 28 wkts @ 22.07
Yuvraj Singh 23 wkts @ 16.21
Harbhajan Singh 22 wkts @ 26
Ashok Dinda 17 wkts @ 14.41
Zaheer Khan 17 wkts @ 26.35
RP Singh 15 wkts @ 15.00
Total T20 internationals played: 45; Won 25, Lost 19, Tied 0, No Result 1
India’s first T20 match: Vs South Africa on 1/12/2006; India won by six wickets chasing 126 for victory
India’s last T20 match: Vs Pakistan on 28/12/2012; India won by 11 runs defending 192
India’s highest T20 total: 218-4 vs England in 2007
India’s lowest T20 total: 74 vs Australia in 2008
Did you know?
India have lost all their four T20 matches against New Zealand thus far Amongst major cricket playing countries, India have beaten South Africa in five of their seven games. Against Pakistan they have won three of their five games while there was a tie in one game. Against Australia, they have won only three of their seven matches.