‘You have my support’: Joginder Sharma Recalls MS Dhoni’s Words Before Bowling The Final Over In 2007 T20 World Cup Final

Joginder Sharma
Joginder Sharma at ICC World T20 2007. Credits: Twitter

Former India skipper MS Dhoni brought down curtains on his illustrious international career on Saturday. He retires as India’s most decorated skipper as well as wicketkeeper-batsman. Under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, Team India reached unprecedented heights in all the three formats.

Under him, India won the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. Till date, he remains the only captain to have won all the three ICC tournaments. He also led India to the number one ranking in Tests for the very first time.

As ODI captain, he has won 55 percent of the 200 games he captained the team (110 wins, 74 defeats, 5 tied, 11 NR).  In T20Is, MS Dhoni has a 58.33 win percentage  with 42 victories in 72 games as captain.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Credits: Twitter)

Joginder Sharma on MS Dhoni’s leadership:

With MS Dhoni retired from international cricket, former India bowler Joginder Sharma has recalled the T20 World Cup in 2007. It was MS Dhoni’s first tournament as captain and he defied all the odds to guide India to a historic win. Sharma had played an important role in the triumph.

MS Dhoni had famously handed the ball to Sharma to bowl the final over in the final against Pakistan. Despite a well set Misbah-ul-Haq on the crease, MS Dhoni gave the ball to an untested Sharma to defend 13 runs and the latter justified his former captain’s faith.

Sharma has revealed just how much backing MS Dhoni used to give to his players. Calling him the greatest motivator in cricket, Sharma said the wicketkeeper-batsman’s decision to hand him the ball in the final was not a sudden decision as he pointed out he had bowled the last over in the semifinal against Australia too.

Recalling the game, Sharma revealed Dhoni’s words, saying that his former captain assured him of his full support irrespective of the result.

“The inaugural World T20 in South Africa was Dhoni’s first tournament as captain. And what a start he had! He had no problem giving the young boys a chance to have a go against the top names in world cricket. For me he is the greatest motivator in cricket,” Sharma wrote in his column for The Hindustan Times.

“Most people remember that I bowled the final of the title clash in 2007, but many don’t remember that I had also bowled the final over in the semi-final against Australia. They needed 22 runs but could score only six and I got two wickets, Brett Lee and Michael Hussey. RP Singh had bowled the second last over in the semi-final and he bowled the second-last over in the final against Pakistan too. It was always following the plan that gave the results for Dhoni.

“So, when the time came in the final, Dhoni did not hesitate before giving me the ball. Pakistan needed 13 runs from the last over, and he told me, “don’t think about the runs that they need, think about your bowling. If you get hit, don’t over-think, just concentrate on the next ball. Whatever is the result, be confident you have my support.”

Going into such a tense situation, it’s the biggest support that a bowler can imagine. The final over was close especially after Misbah-ul-Haq had hit me for a six off the second ball. But then Sreesanth took that catch and the rest is history,” he added.

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