How Prasad convinced Dhoni to use Sehwag and Uthappa for bowl out against Pakistan in 2007 T20 World Cup
Reliving the event, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad, who was the bowling coach of India then, explained how he convinced India captain MS Dhoni to use non-regular bowlers like Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa for the bowl out against Pakistan in 2007 T20 World Cup.Updated: Jul 17, 2020 07:06 IST
The inaugural edition of T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa was full of surprises. Teams were pitted in a World Cup to be played in a format which was only two years old at the international level. The rules were pre-decided but there was no absolute clarity even among the teams. It was a new step for all. One of the major additions in that World Cup was the bowl out rule to break the tie.
Inspired by football and hockey’s shoot out, a bowl out was introduced first in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Little did ICC or anyone know that it would come to use in one of the most high-profile matches of the tournament – the India vs Pakistan one.
India and Pakistan met twice in the tournament. The final is obviously the one fresh on every Indian fan’s memory as India had gone on to win the title by beating Pakistan in a thrilling contest.
But the India-Pakistan group league encounter was no short of entertainment either. In fact, it had ended in a tie when both sides finished with 141 in their allotted 20 overs, forcing the first-ever bowl out in a World Cup.
India’s decision to start the bowl out with Virender Sehwag instead of a regular bowler stumped many but in the end it turned out to be right call as India beat Pakistan 3-0. None of Pakistan’s bowlers were able to hit the target while India’s Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh hit bulls eye.
Reliving the event, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad, who was the bowling coach of India then, explained why India used non-regular bowlers like Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa for the bowl out.
“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 use to practice it,” Prasad 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,” the former Indian pacer added.
“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 MS 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.”