As Indians celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2007 World T20 victory, Irfan Pathan reminisces on how the win helped change people’s beliefs and perceptions of the then unknown T20 format. The all-rounder also shed lights on Dhoni’s captaincy and India’s win against the hosts, South Africa.
Looking back at the historic T20 World Cup win that essentially kick-started the careers of a new generation of cricket stars, Irfan Pathan explained how the unknown format was a breath of fresh air for the struggling Indian side and how the unlikely title win changed people’s perceptions and beliefs.
“As a team, we certainly had little expectations while trying to explore through the unknown format. think keeping the expectations low was the main thing for the team. Everyone had a point to prove too, some of us were making comebacks, some of them were very young who wanted to do really well at the highest level,” said Pathan in an interview with Cricbuzz.
“Winning the T20 World Cup was important for many reasons, to change the perception and belief of the people that it was not just a fun game. It is proper, serious cricket. People got to know how hard it was in that format. Sometimes bowling those four overs and the energy that you put in, and the mindset and energy that goes into it... it is unimaginable."
Heaping praise on the then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowler stated how his calm and composed demeanour helped the side massively.
“Mahi [MS Dhoni] being Mahi, everyone knows what kind of a character he is. He likes to keep things low-key, very simple. That helped the team,” said Pathan.
However, keeping things simple wasn’t enough for the side to go all the way as they had players totally oblivious to the tactics needed to succeed in the format. Hence, the win against South Africa massively boosted their confidence and there was no looking back after that.
“I guess the real belief came after winning the South Africa game. Beating South Africa in South Africa... We thought they would be the toughest because they obviously knew their conditions well. It was a low-scoring game, we fielded really well. That's when the real belief came through. Before that we played against Pakistan, the first game was rained off, and we lost against New Zealand," said the all-rounder.
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