Every India-Pakistan clash in an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament has a moment that uniquely defines it.
We have Tendulkar's six at Centurion in 2003, Tendulkar (again) being dropped four times in the semi-final in Mohali eight years later, and of course, international cricket’s first and only bowl-out.
More than the result, the India-Pakistan group stage clash at the 2007 World T20 is famous for the bowl-out that took place after the match ended in a tie. Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan recently revealed that the Pakistan team was not prepared for it.
On a special 'Watch Along' of that match on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar, Irfan Pathan said:
“Pakistan's captain accepted it in one of the press conferences that they didn't know about the bowl-out... they were not sure if they should be taking full run-ups or a half run-ups. On the other hand, we came in prepared for the bowl-out and the result was quite evident.”
Sehwag, Harbhajan and Robin Uthappa (in that order) hit the stumps, while Pakistan’s Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi all missed as India won the bowl-out 3-0.
About the preparation, Robin Uthappa said:
“Before every practice, we used to play a game after warm-up, so what Venky (Venkatesh Prasad) did was instead of playing football, he said let's play bowl out (batsman vs bowlers). Among the batsmen, Sehwag, Rohit and me (Robin Uthappa) used to get a hit very often.”
And Rohit Sharma wasn’t even required to chance his arm that night.
Credit to MS Dhoni: Robin Uthappa
The drama unfolded after Sreesanth defended 1 run off the final 2 deliveries to force the game into the spectacle that it became. Robin Uthappa had lots of praise for then newly-appointed skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"I have to give credit to MS Dhoni at that point of time. At a very young age in his first tournament and his first game as captain, a guy went up to him, his teammate went up to him saying, who is a non-bowler and is not his main skill, went up to him and said, ‘I have to bowl and I am going to hit the stumps,’ and I swear he (Dhoni) didn't even bat an eyelid and said, ‘ok bowl,’" added Robin Uthappa.
The two teams locked horns in the final in Johannesburg to produce another thriller, and as we all know, India came out on top. Chasing 157, Pakistan fell short by 5 runs to give MS Dhoni the first of many trophies.