Following his final-over success in the ICC World T20 2007 final against Pakistan, Joginder Sharma became Indian cricket’s most unlikely hero.
Despite an over left for the experienced Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni decided to give the ball to Joginder who had impressed by bowling a two-wicket final over against Australia in the semi-final.
A wrong call by the skipper could have cost India the trophy. Joginder started with a wide delivery, then a dot. Misbah then hit a full toss for six. Six runs off four balls was a simple situation for Pakistan, but Joginder’s magic worked for Dhoni. On the very next ball, Misbah went for a scoop which landed safely in Sreesanth’s hands at short fine leg to crown India T20 champions.
In an interview with India Today, the Haryana medium-pacer revealed his experience of bowling the last over against Pakistan in the final of the World T20 2007.
He said that he was excited to be picked by the skipper to bowl the decisive over.
“I was expecting Dhoni to look at me before the start of the last over in the final. When Dhoni pointed at me, I ran to snatch the ball away from him. I was excited when he chose me ahead of Harbhajan Singh,” Sharma said.
“I also bowled the last over in the semi-finals of the World T20 2007 against Australia and I did well,” he added.
The first two balls of the over produced 7 runs. After conceding a wide of the first ball, Sharma bowled a full delivery to let Misbah smash it over long on for a huge six. The equation boiled down to 6 runs from 4 balls.
“After I conceded a wide in the first ball, Dhoni asked me not worry about anything,” Sharma said.
“We had a simple plan for the last over. Batsmen had not developed new shots at that time. We wanted to bowl outside the off,” he said.
Sharma said the small pause in his action helped him read Misbah’s intentions in the final over.
“I have a small pause in my bowling action and that helped me read Misbah’s intentions in the final over. I had watched him play the scoop shot well in the previous matches. I changed the length when I saw him moving across the stumps.”
“I was expecting Sreesanth to take the catch cleanly. I was happy I bowled the final over of a World Cup winning campaign, ” he said.
“I was fielding at square leg when Misbah-ul-Haq scooped the ball. I was following the trajectory of the ball and I wanted Santhakumaran Sreesanth to grab the ball. It wasn’t a tough catch but there was pressure.”
“I was the first one to run to Sreesanth and hug him,” Singh said.