From the bowl out against Pakistan to Virat Kohli’s masterclass in Mohali, Indian fans have had plenty to cheer through the first six editions of the T20 World Cup, so ahead of this year’s tournament in the UAE, here are India’s Top 5 moments in T20 World Cup history.
5. Yuvraj Singh’s 70 (30) in 2007 semi-final – Durban, 2007
At number five, we start off with a sublime innings from India’s man for the big occasion – Yuvraj Singh – in the crunch semi-final against the world champions Australia. This knock was vintage Yuvraj at his absolute best as he pulled Stuart Clarke into oblivion to get off the mark before flicking one Brett Lee delivery into the heavens for a 119-metre six. Yuvraj spared no bowler and smashed five fours and five sixes in his 30-ball 70, which propelled India to 188 and eventually, took them to the final.
4. India’s one-run win against Bangladesh – Bengaluru, 2016
India were staring at an early exit in the 2016 World Cup on home soil with Bangladesh needing only 2 runs to win off the last three balls against Hardik Pandya. However, the Men in Blue snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as Bangladesh went on to lose three wickets off the last three balls. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah were both caught on the leg-side boundary before the one-gloved MS Dhoni ran 15 yards to run out Mustafizur and give India a memorable win.
3. Virat Kohli’s 82* against Australia – Mohali, 2016
In a virtual quarter-final against Australia in the 2016 World Cup, the chase-master rose to the occasion once again on the biggest stage. Needing 161 to win on a tricky Mohali wicket, India were struggling at 49-3, but Virat took the team home with his innings of 82* from 51 balls that could be described as one of the greatest knocks he has ever played. Kohli was batting in a different zone on that night as he smashed 32 runs off his final 11 deliveries to take India to the semis.
2. Yuvraj Singh’s Six 6s – Durban, 2007
Yuvraj Singh spent only 14 minutes at the crease against England in Durban, but his 16-ball innings in a must-win game for India will forever be a part of T20 cricket history. No part of the ground was spared as Yuvraj not only cleared the boundary ropes but the stadium itself as he smashed six sixes off Stuart Broad to race to an astonishing 12-ball half-century – the fastest in T20 cricket to this date.
1. India win inaugural T20 World Cup vs Pakistan – Johannesburg, 2007
And at number one, it has to be that day in Johannesburg where India kicked off its T20 revolution with their victory over Pakistan in the final of the inaugural World Cup. With a youthful side led by the man with the Midas touch – MS Dhoni – India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by only five runs in a nail-biter at the Wanderers. Gautam Gambhir scored a crucial 75 to take India to 157 before Irfan Pathan and RP Singh put India in the driving seat with three wickets apiece. Misbah ul Haq added some more drama towards the death, but Joginder Sharma and Sreesanth held their nerve in the final over, and the rest, as they say, was history.
[Image Credit: ICC T20 World Cup]