Venkatesh Prasad, the former Indian bowler, recalled the national sides’ bowl-out victory against Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup, attributing the success to the management’s planning and the hard work done by the players in the nets.
India and Pakistan locked horns twice in the 2007 T20 World Cup. While the Men in Blue won the titular clash by five runs, the group-stage game between the arch-rivals ended in a tie.
According to the rules of the tournament, the tie-breaker was decided by a bowl-out. India chose Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, and Harbhajan Singh, each of whom hit bulls-eye even as the troika of Pakistan bowlers in Yasir Arafat, Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul failed to hit the stumps.
“We had gone through the rules and regulations of the World Cup. When there was a tied game, there was no Super Over back then, there was a bowl out. Obviously we always use to practice it,” Venkatesh Prasad told R.Ashwin on the latters Youtube channel.
“We had this competition between batsmen and bowlers. Most of the batsmen wanted to bowl as well, like MS Dhoni, Sehwag, and Robin Uthappa. We had this competition in these nets” Prasad added.
‘I had to back my instinct and make a decision’- Venkatesh Prasad
Venkatesh Prasad, who was India’s bowling coach at the time, said that it was not hard for him to convince MS Dhoni on the choice of bowlers for the bowl-out since he had seen enough in the nets to be absolutely convinced with the ability of the likes of Sehwag and Uthappa.
“You go through those net sessions a day in and day out. So we wanted to have fun some element as well. So we brought in the bowl out,” he said.
“I was looking at what was happening from behind. So I knew who was hitting the wickets consistently. That’s when I saw Sehwag hitting, Uthappa hitting and Harbhajan hitting. So we said okay fine. Nobody expected that our very first match will have a bowl-out. It was a tight game. It was a bowl-out. It was not hard for me to convince MS Dhoni, saying ‘these are the guys who are doing well” he added.
“We had to take our chances as well. We did take a bit of chance there, having Sehwag and Uthappa. I had to back my instinct and make a decision. The slower bowlers are more in control of their bodies and delivery. They had a straight-arm action,” Venkatesh Prasad revealed.
The ball-0ur was replaced by Super-Over as a tie-breaker in 2008.