Robin Uthappa who was once, one of the mainstays in the Indian team interacted with his Rajasthan Royals teammate and New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi in a live podcast. They discussed everything ranging from the ups and downs of his career to his life in quarantine. Going down the memory lane, the now 34-year-old Uthappa credited MS Dhoni for India’s glory in the much famous inaugural World T20 held in South Africa in 2007.
It was Dhoni’s first tournament as a captain and his first on-field duty was to defeat the arch rivals Pakistan in one of the earliest games of the tournament.
During the mandatory 40 overs, both teams ended on 141 runs and the match was tied. India got a lucky escape as Misbah-ul-Haq failed to score one run off the last delivery. He was run out at the non-striker’s end.
But as per the rules of the tournament the winner of a tied match was to be decided by a bowl out, much similar to a penalty shoot out in football.
In the bowl out when Pakistan decided to field their best bowlers, India under Dhoni decided to go with spinners.
Robin Uthappa who was to go in the 3rd slot, had bowled only two balls before that in International cricket. During the mega event Dhoni backed him and he bowled the third delivery and helped the Men in Blue win by 3-0. It also happened to be India’s first victory under Dhoni in international cricket.
The Karnataka-born said that Dhoni, who was captaining India for the first time, stood behind the stumps. Uthappa mentioned that it helped the bowlers in aiming successfully at the stumps.
“One of the things that MS [Dhoni] did really well, and that he did different from what the Pakistan ‘keeper did was, where he stood behind the stumps,” Uthappa was quoted as saying on Rajasthan Royals’ podcast with New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi.
In contrary to Dhoni, Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan wicketkeeper, stood in a normal keeper’s position. All of Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat and Shahid Afridi missed the stumps.
“The Pakistan ‘keeper (Kamran Akmal) was standing where a WK usually stands. A few feet back and besides the stump — just alongside the stump. But MS was (sitting) right behind the stumps and that 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 all we did,” he added.
Mohammad Asif, was named the Player of the Match for his four-wicket haul. Uthappa had a decent game with the bat as well, scoring 50 runs off 39 balls with four fours and a couple of sixes.
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