The 2007 T20 World Cup redefined the contours of Indian cricket helping the young blood, under the leadership of MS Dhoni, rise to the top. However, going into the tournament, the Indian team led by an inexperienced Dhoni, hardly made them favourites at the event let alone win it.
But defying all odds India defeated Pakistan in a nailbiting contest to win their maiden T20 World cup and what made it even more special was that success was achieved without the three stalwarts – Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar.
While a lot of people still think that it was the senior players who wanted to give the youngsters a chance and thereby chose to skip the T20 World Cup, the then team manager Lalchand Rajput revealed that Tendulkar was in fact keen to play the competition.
But it was former India captain Rahul Dravid who convinced the likes of Tendulkar and Ganguly to give the tournament a miss.
“Yes, it is true (Rahul Dravid stopping Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly from playing the 2007 T20 World Cup). 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 because Sachin always kept on telling me that I am playing for so many years and I have still not won the World Cup,” Lalchand Rajput told Sportskeeda.
Recalling Dhoni’s leadership skills, he said, “To be honest, he was very very calm. He used to think two steps ahead because a captain has to make a decision on the ground… One thing I liked about him was that he was a thinking captain.”
“He seemed to me like a mixture of [Sourav] Ganguly and Rahul Dravid… Ganguly was very very aggressive and thinking but was positive and thinking,” he added.
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