India won ‘bowl-out’ because of Dhoni’s mastermind
The scoreline of a cricket match was like football only once in history- ‘India 3-0 Pakistan.’ India won the tiebreaker in the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup after two arch-rivals ended the match with equal runs.
The official name for that tie-breaking method was ‘bowl-out’. Robin Uthappa, one of the Indian team-scorers in that match, said that they won the tie-breaker with the help of MS Dhoni.
In that World Cup, the rule was that if the match was tied, 5 cricketers of the two teams would bowl one ball at a time on the empty stumps. The team that can stump more often, wins them.
In the group stage, India and Pakistan were tied the game in Durban. Pakistan did not get the thrill of ‘bowl-out’. The differences in the tactics of the two teams were noticeable. Pakistan relied on key bowlers, India relied on irregularities.
Virender Sehwag bowled the first ball for India, followed by Harbhajan Singh. Both of them came in short run up and put the ball on the stumps. For Pakistan, two fast bowlers Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat could not hit the stump with full run-up. India’s third ball was bowled by Uthappa, who was said not to bowl a ball in international cricket at all. But he came running short and put the ball on the stumps. Shahid Afridi bowled Pakistan’s third ball. He also failed.
With India leading 3-0, the other two did not need to bowl. The Indians became ecstatic. The technique of bowling in short run-ups worked, Uthapa said. Uthappa spoke about Dhoni’s strategy in a conversation with New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi, hosted by Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajasthan Royals.
“Dhoni took a very good strategy, which the Pakistani keeper did not do. The Pakistani keeper stood in the normal position of the keepers, moving to one side behind the stumps. But Dhoni stood right behind the stumps, straight. He told us to straighten his body without looking at the stumps. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. We did as he told,”
Both teams later advanced to the finals of that tournament. In another suffocating match, India won the title by defeating Pakistan in the last over.