Robin Uthappa. (Photo credit: Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: India’s second group match in the 2007 T20 World Cup was against arch-rivals Pakistan and it also turned out to be a rare instance of a match being decided by a bowl-out. The match was technically India’s second in the tournament, but it ended up being the first they played as their scheduled first game against Scotland was washed out.
India however came up with a surprising line-up for the bowl-out. While they did go with ace spinner Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa were the other two bowlers.
“We had gone through the rules and regulations of the World Cup. When there was a tied game, there was no Super Over back then, there was a bowl-out. Obviously we always used to practice it,” Venkatesh Prasad who was bowling coach at the time, told Ravichandran Ashwin on the Indian off-spinner’s YouTube show ‘DRS with Ash’.
“We had this competition between batsmen and bowlers. Most of the batsmen wanted to bowl as well, like MS Dhoni, Sehwag, and Robin Uthappa. We had this competition in these nets,” Prasad explained.
“I was looking at what was happening from behind. So I knew who was hitting the wickets consistently. That’s when I saw Sehwag hitting, Uthappa hitting and Harbhajan hitting.
“So we said okay fine. Nobody expected that our very first match will have a bowl-out. It was a tight game. It was a bowl-out. It was not hard for me to convince M.S. Dhoni, saying ‘these are the guys who are doing well’.
“We had to take our chances as well. We did take a bit of chance there, having Sehwag and Uthappa I had to back my instinct and make a decision. The slower bowlers are more in control of their bodies and delivery. They had a straight-arm action.”
As it turned out, all three bowlers found the stumps while Pakistan’s Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi missed.