New Delhi. On 24 September 2007, the final match of the first T20 World Cup between India and Pakistan was played at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. In the last over, Pakistan needed 13 runs to win. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Asif were at the crease. India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made such a decision, which surprised crores of cricket fans. Dhoni handed the ball to Joginder Sharma instead of Harbhajan Singh.
Medium pacer Joginder Sharma made his ODI debut for India in 2004. He played his last and fourth ODI in January 2007. He did not get many chances in Team India. However, after performing brilliantly in domestic cricket, he suddenly cut the ticket for the World Cup. He did not get a chance to play in the initial matches of the World Cup. However, Dhoni saved this trump card for big matches.
Pakistan captain Misbah was running in excellent form at that time. He made his intention to win the World Cup for Pakistan by hitting Harbhajan Singh for three sixes. In the last over, Dhoni handed the ball to Joginder Sharma. Sharma threw wide under the pressure of the first ball itself. No run scored on the next ball. Now Pakistan needed 12 runs in 5 balls to win. On the second ball, Misbah hit a long six. It seemed as if the match slipped out of India’s hands.
Now Pakistan needed only 6 runs in 4 balls to win. Joginder Sharma bowled the third ball at full length and Misbah played a scoop shot. The ball went straight into the hands of fielder S Sreesanth on short fine leg. India won the World Cup by 5 runs.
Even after 15 years, it is discussed why Dhoni preferred Joginder over Harbhajan Singh. At that time, India’s coach Lalchand Rajput has disclosed this thing recently. When asked by News18 Hindi Sports Editor Vijay Prabhat on this issue, Rajput said, “Joginder used to bowl very good yorkers in domestic cricket. He used to bowl without pressure. Seeing him, it was not felt whether he was bowling the first over or the last. Captain Dhoni was also very impressed with Joginder’s bowling.
Lalchand Rajput said that Dhoni had told him about Sharma that he would eat at most six sixes. But we should give it a chance. Apart from this, Dhoni also told Joginder, “There is no problem. You bowl at your own pace. Just like you bowl yorkers in domestic cricket, you also bowl here. Lalchand Rajput says, young players get confidence from their captain’s words.
Joginder Sharma had the experience of playing only three T20 International matches from the final match. He also took two wickets while bowling brilliantly in the death overs of Australia in the semi-final. Lalchand Rajput tells another about giving the last over to the Indian bowler. He said, “In the practice session, all bowlers are made to practice death over bowling. Was bowling well in the nets without intimidating Joginder.
About him, Dhoni told Lalchand Rajput that no one knows this in international cricket. There is also no video analysis of Joginder. By the time the batsman understands this, he will have bowled six balls.
FIRST PUBLISHED : September 24, 2022, 07:52 IST