It’s been 15 years since MS Dhoni-led Team India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa to become World Champions. Going into the tournament, the Men in Blue were never the favourites. They had suffered an ugly exit in the 50-over World Cup earlier that year in the West Indies and there were several reports that claimed unrest inside the dressing room. But what caught the attention was a new, young, and inexperienced captain who was going to lead the team.
2007 T20 World Cup was the tournament that saw Dhoni emerging as the ‘captain cool’. The decisions taken by him not only just left everyone amazed but it yielded surprisingly positive results. One such jaw-dropping decision was handing the final over to medium pacer Joginder Sharma in the grand finale against Pakistan.
Pakistan needed 13 off the last 6 balls with one wicket in hand. In-form batter Misbah-ul-Haq had the strike and Dhoni had to choose from Joginder and Harbhajan Singh. The captain probably made one of the best decisions of his life and the rest is history.
As India celebrates the 15th anniversary of that remarkable 5-run win, former pacer Sreesanth who took the catch to dismiss Misbah, opened up why decided to give Joginder the final over.
“Dhoni bhai takes decisions like that and Dhoni bhai knows Jogi bhai very well. Lot of people don’t know that we used to play for Indian Airlines. Dhoni bhai, me, Yuvi paa, Bhajju paa, we all used to play for Indian Airlines. Joginder Sharma used to play for ONGC. So, there were a lot of matches when we played for these companies, in Delhi or elsewhere,” Sreesanth told Star Sports.
“So, Dhoni bhai knows Jogi bhai’s winning attitude. And he knows Jogi bhai has done it not just once and twice, he has done it many times. He had a lot of faith in him,” he added.
Lauding Dhoni’s leadership, Sreesanth said the former skipper was someone who make the players believe in themselves.
“And that’s what I said earlier. Who’s the best captain? Those who work with individuals and believe in the players. And even when the players don’t believe in themselves, the great captains will come up to you and make you believe in your belief system.
“So I think I was not surprised. I was very confident that whatever decision Dhoni bhai has been taking till then were successful, so I was just praying that it works out,” Sreesanth further said.