“We just had to bowl at MS Dhoni,” Robin Uthappa recalls how Dhoni made the bowl out simple

India beat Pakistan in the first-ever bowl out in 2007 World T20 after their match was tied.

Positions where MS Dhoni and Kamran Akmal stood during bowl out in World T20 2007Robin Uthappa, who was part of the Indian team which won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, recalls how captain MS Dhoni made it easier for them to win the infamous bowl out which happened after their league match against Pakistan ended in a tie.

Robin Uthappa said MS Dhoni stood closer to the stumps, unlike Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal who decided to hang back. This helped the Indian bowlers to target the keeper instead of stumps and that’s got them the win.

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In the bowl out, India used only 1 specialist bowler -- Harbhajan Singh as they went in with Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa. On the other hand, Pakistan began with Yasir Arafat and used Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi.

"One of the things that MS [Dhoni] did really well, and that he did differently from what Pakistan 'keeper did was, where he stood behind the stumps. The Pakistan keeper (Kamran Akmal) was standing where a wicketkeeper would normally stand. But MS was right behind the stumps and that just made it so much easier for us. We just had to bowl at MS and it gave us the best chance to hit the wickets. That's what we did,Uthappa said in a conversation with Ish Sodhi for Rajasthan Royals.

India won the bowl out 3-0 after all three India stars hit the stumps while Pakistan bowlers missed all three.

Uthappa further mentioned that then bowling Coach Venkatesh Prasad made the players practice for the bowl out. He credited him for being prepared for such an instance. "We actually practice the bowl outs. I want to give credit to our bowling coach. Venkatesh Prasad was studious in that manner. He was very astute and attentive to all the rules of the game. He had us preparing for this scenario,” Uthappa said.

"At the end of the warm-ups, he would tell us 'let's play a game of bowl out'. He had the batsmen pitted against the bowlers. We played the game maybe 2-3 times. Most of the time, the batsmen won. Viru [Sehwag] bhai, Rohit [Sharma] and I hit the most times,” the batsman added.

Robin Uthappa and other Indian team members with the 2007 World T20Uthappa also said, “We never lost a game to Pakistan in the World Cup. But in the game, we got close to losing."

Recalling the joy of becoming world champions, Uthappa says that he didn’t sleep for three days straight. “Couldn’t really comprehend the feeling of world champions. We were just extremely ecstatic that we beat Pakistan in the final of a World Cup but the feeling of being world champion hit home when we landed in India. Mumbai does not stop for anyone. Anyone. But that day, the city came to a standstill and the whole city just moved in the direction that our team bus was moving in,” he said.


By Jatin Sharma - 20 May, 2020

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