Since the T20 format of cricket started, it has been produced some of the most entertaining contests in the game. India, who have traditionally have been a powerhouse when it comes to cricket have of course been one of the stronger teams over the years.
India once displayed their strength and bench strength and hunger to win on Sunday in the final of the 2018 Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh which went right down to the last ball as India came out on top in great style.
Here’s a quick look back at some of India’s most memorable triumphs in the shortest format of the game. The list of course has to begin in Johannesburg.
ICC World T20 Final Johannesburg, 2007: India beat Pakistan to Clinch Title
This was the first ever T20 World Cup, and India led by the inimitable and young MS Dhoni wanted to create history at Johannesburg. India won the toss and elected to bat first. Gautam Gambhir (75) took the attack to Pakistan as the others chipped in and India posted a defendable 157. For Pakistan, Imran Nazir and Misbah-ul-Haq were the most prolific run getters on the day and threatened to take the final away from Dhoni’s men. But a last throw of the dice with Joginder Sharma, saw Misbah get snapped up at short fine leg by Sreesanth. India bowled out Pakistan with three balls to go to clinch the title.
India vs Sri Lanka in Colombo, 2009: India Won by 3 Wickets
T20 cricket seemed perfect for the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya who was well known for his affinity towards playing more than just a few shots. Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan started of the Lankan innings at rapid pace as India’s bowlers Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan find the going tough. The hosts set India a target of 172 and that almost seemed out of reach. India’s famed batting line-up struggled against an in-form Lankan bowling attack and were staring at a heavy defeat with less than 5 overs left and more than 50 still to get. That’s when Irfan Pathan teamed up with Yusuf Pathan and both scored at a strike rate of above 200 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
India’s Tour of Australia 3rd T20I in Sydney, 2016: India Won by 7 Wickets
India had already taken an unassailable lead in the series, and the third game was a dead rubber but the Aussies wanted to restore some pride. Batting first the Australians rode a swashbuckling century from Shane Watson on their way to 197 at the SCG. Half centuries from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli made things easier for India even though the Aussies were running them close in terms of the chase. India had Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh at the crease and needed 17 runs of 6 balls and it was the former on strike with two runs to go. Raina smashed it through point for a boundary as India completed the whitewash.
ICC World T20 in Bangalore, 2016: India Edge Bangladesh by 1 Run
This match was arguably the best match in the history of the WT20 and easily the most thrilling between these two sides. India snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the last over of the Super 10, Group 2 match in Bengaluru. India batsmen had an uncharacteristically off-day in the middle and they were restricted to just 146/7 in 20 overs. Suresh Raina top-scored with 30 for India as Bangladesh bowlers did a magnificent job of keeping the big Indian names quiet. Bangladesh batsmen did well to keep their team in the contest for most parts of the game with Tamim Iqbal (35) and Sabbir Rahman (26) did most of the damage. In the last over of the innings, Bangladesh needed 11 runs off 6 deliveries with four wickets to spare. Mushfiqur Rahim slammed back to back boundaries on the second and third balls respectively off Hardik Pandya and Bangladesh needed just 2 runs off three balls. Pandya then turned the match on its head as he removed Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah off successive deliveries — both batsmen were dismissed after playing rash shots and getting caught out at the mid-wicket boundary. Then, on the last ball of the over, MS Dhoni did the trick as he ran his lungs out to run-out Mustafizur Rahman for a duck, after batsman Shuvagata Hom failed to make contact with the ball.
ICC World T20 Mohali, 2016: India beat Australia by 6 wickets
Playing yet another home World Cup, the pressure was on India to do well through the tournament. After a scintillating performance against Bangladesh, India were playing Australia in Mohali. Ashish Nehra was the pick of the bowlers as runs came at a premium during his overs and that cost the Aussies heavily. India needed only 160 to win and seal spot in among the final four of the World Cup. For once Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan did not produce a good start, but up stepped Virat Kohli with a masterclass in batting. Kohli remained unbeaten on 82 while the next highest score in the Indian batting was of Yuvraj’s (21). A clinical India swatted away Australia in style and powered on towards the next round.