Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 24 (ANI): On the occasion of Team India's ICC T20 World Cup 2007 win, former Indian batter Robin Uthappa said on Saturday that he still remembers his celebration after the famous bowl-out after a thrilling tied Group D clash with arch-rivals Pakistan during the tournament.
A new chapter in Indian cricket history was written when a young and relatively inexperienced Team India led by MS Dhoni won the hearts of a billion fans as they defeated Pakistan in the finals of the inaugural ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 15 years to this day.
The Men in Blue escaped the jaws of defeat in the final over of the match and won versus their arch-rivals by a margin of just five runs. The 2007 World Cup victory was India's first ever major limited-overs trophy since the heroics of the 1983 ICC Men's World Cup.
The match, which was played in front of a raucous crowd at Wanderers, in Johannesburg, South Africa was one of the best matches ever witnessed in a major ICC tournament final. 15 years on, the sweet memories of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup are still fresh in the minds of not only the fans but of the players as well.
With some hard-fought victories against some of the best teams in world cricket at the time was no mean feat, as recalled by Star Sports panellist - Robin Uthappa who played a major role in India winning the 2007 ICC Men's T20 World Cup. He said, "I cannot believe that it has been 15 years since we won the T20 World Cup. For me, it feels as if it was just a few years ago. The fond memories from our first-ever T20 world cup win are still fresh in my memory. I can still remember bowling in the bowl-out and tipping my hat in celebration as we won!"
The Group D clash between India and Pakistan saw a bowl-out to decide the winner after both teams were tied at 141 runs each. Players from each side took aims at the stumps, with India winning the bowl-out 3-0.
"I would like to wish the Men in Blue all the very best as they go Down Under to try and repeat history and get us back the ICC Men's T20 World Cup with 'Mission Melbourne'. It's a special experience to win the World Cup and I wish Rohit and the boys play their hearts out to repeat the feat we achieved 15 years ago!" he added.
The young and inexperienced Indian side who went on to win the trophy had a lively pace attack which was spearheaded by Irfan Pathan who reminisced the moments before they triumphed over Pakistan in the finals of the World Cup. He said "I still get goosebumps when I think about the finals and how we won it in the last over. We played our very best in that World Cup and to be rewarded in the end with the trophy was just one of the most special feelings in my life."
"I can still picture the team and the crowd celebrating for India as Sreesanth caught Misbah in that final over. I hope that the Indian team is fully prepared for 'Mission Melbourne' and aiming to bring the trophy once again to India. I wish them all the very best!" he added.
On this day in 2007, India captured the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup, defeating Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final at Johannesburg.
Both the teams had a great run in the tournament heading into the final and topped their respective groups. India was coming into the summit clash after downing the mighty Australians in the semi-final by 15 runs. On the other hand, Pakistan had defeated New Zealand in the semis by six wickets.
India elected to bat first after winning the toss. They put up 157/5 in their 20 overs. Gautam Gambhir's 75 off 54 balls and Rohit Sharma's hard-hitting cameo of 30* off 16 balls helped Men in Blue reach a solid score for an ICC final for those days. Pacer Umar Gul (3/26) did not let Team India reach a big score and took wickets at crucial phases.
Chasing 158, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals. RP Singh (3/26) and Irfan (3/16) kept their arch-rivals run flow in check. Knocks from Imran Nazir (33), Younis Khan (24) were solid, but Pakistan was left struggling at 6/77. Misbah-ul-Haq (43) then tried to win it for Pakistan, but fell short by five runs after a scoop attempt on delivery by Joginder Sharma (2/20) was caught by S Sreesanth, sending millions into ecstasy. Pakistan was bundled out for 152 runs.
Since then, India has not captured another T20 World Cup. Their best performances since then remain runner-up finish in the 2014 edition and semifinal finish in the 2016 edition of the tournament.
The upcoming 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup is set to take place in Australia from October 16-November 13. (ANI)