Rahul Dravid asked Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly to not play 2007 T20 World Cup: Lalchand Rajput
During an interaction on Sportskeeda Cricket Facebook page, Lalchand Rajput, who was the manager of the Indian cricket team that travelled to South Africa, revealed that it was Dravid who convinced Tendulkar and Ganguly to not play the 2007 T20 World Cup.Updated: Jun 29, 2020 19:55 IST
The 2007 T20 World Cup was a redefining moment for Indian cricket. A young team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was captaining the country for the first time, went on to beat arch-rivals Pakistan in the final to win the trophy. India team did not have the ‘big three’ - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid - when they travelled to South Africa for the tournament, as the idea was to put together a young side. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Yousuf Pathan and Joginder Sharma were given opportunities. Yet, the Indian team defied the odds and went on to win the inaugural T20 World Cup.
During an interaction on Sportskeeda Cricket Facebook page, Lalchand Rajput, who was the team manager of the Indian team at the time, revealed that it was Dravid who convinced Tendulkar and Ganguly to skip the 2007 T20 World Cup.
“Yes, it is true (Rahul Dravid asked Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to not play the 2007 T20 World Cup),” Rajput said. “Rahul Dravid was the captain in England and some players came directly from England to Johannesburg (for the T20 World Cup) so they said ‘let’s give an opportunity to the youngsters’. But after winning the World Cup they must have repented it when we won the World Cup.
“Because Sachin always kept on telling me that I am playing for so many years and I have still not won the World Cup. Ultimately, he won in 2011, but he was dying to win that World Cup, and this team won on the first attempt.”
Recalling the historic tournament, Rajput revealed that the motto of the team was not to take stress, which in turn, helped keep a positive atmosphere in the dressing room. “I was a cricket manager of the 2007 T20 World Cup team. It was a big challenge, because it was a young team. There were a few experienced players, but the real seniors did not play with this team. It was a real opportunity for me as I was the coach for the first time, MS Dhoni was the captain for the first time. So, we really gelled well,” Rajput said.
“As a team, in a dressing room, the atmosphere should be very good. You should motivate players, and the players should not feel the pressure. Our theme during the World Cup was ‘tension lene ka nahi, dene ka (Don’t take tension, give tension)’. Dhoni really believed in the motto that people will talk things, but we need to focus on our strengths, and don’t have to worry about what others are saying.
“The win changed the entire perspective of Indian cricket because when we went there, no one expected us to win. Indian team never had much match practice of T20I World Cup. We had only played one T20I match, the others team had played more matches. We were not well prepared, but that hunger was there. This was the first time T20I World Cup was played, and we had a lot of hungry, young fellows, who were looking to make a name for themselves, and get a permanent place for themselves in the Indian Team. It was a good platform.
“There were certain senior players who were looking to make a comeback and cement their place in the team. It was a good mixture of senior and junior players. The T20I tournament is for young legs, you got to run around, and energetic, and super fit, and this made the difference in the team.”