‘He was known for dropping sitters’: Robin Uthappa recalls Sreesanth’s catch that won India 2007 T20 World Cup
“In the air... Sreesanth takes it. India win!” These words from Ravi Shastri in the commentary box are etched in the memories of millions of Indian cricket fans. It not only gave India their first world title after the 1983 triumph but also in a way put balm on the wounds of a group stage exit from the 2007 ODI World Cup barely a few months ago. The inaugural edition of T20 World Cup in 2007 was historic in many ways and the India vs Pakistan final, which went right down the wire, acted as the perfect icing on the cake.
Pakistan needed 6 to win off 4 balls with just one wicket remaining when Misbah-ul-Haq tried to scoop a slow one from Joginder Sharma for a boundary. But Sreesanth took the catch to crush Pakistan’s hopes, and India won the inaugural T20I World Cup, beating Pakistan by 5 runs.
Speaking on BBC’s Doosra Podcast, India batsman Robin Uthappa, who was a part of the team that lifted the trophy in 2007, recalled that special catch from Sreesanth.
“At the beginning of the over, I was at long-on. I remember Jogi bowling a wide on the first ball and I was like ‘man!’ I was praying. Every ball, from 15th over onwards, I was just praying ‘just get us through’.
“He bowled a wide first ball, and I was like ‘okay, let it not go for a six now’. Then he got hit for a six. And I was like, ‘come on, we can still do this’. Even in that situation, Pakistan had all the momentum going their way, I was backing our team,” Uthappa said.
“Misbah hit a scoop shot, and I saw it going pretty high. I noticed that it wasn’t going really far. Then I saw who the fielder at short fine-leg was, and I saw it was Sreesanth. By that point, within the team, he was known for dropping catches, especially the easiest ones. I have seen him drop absolute sitters,” Uthappa further said.
He went on: “As soon as I saw Sreesanth, I started running towards the wickets, and I started praying ‘please god, let him hold on to this one’. If you look at him taking that catch, you can see that when the ball actually entered his hands, he is looking up there (laughs). So, I still truly believe it was nothing but destiny that won us that World Cup,” he added.
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