Rahul Dravid was India’s Captain in ODIs & tests at the time of the 2007 World Cup. Rahul Dravid at that time felt that it was important to give youngsters a chance.
India’s 2007 ICC World T20 victory is among the most memorable victories in India’s cricketing history. A young & inexperienced team India led by MS Dhoni who was captain at that time won the trophy for the first time against all odds in Johannesburg.
The absence of legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly & Rahul Dravid had meant no one gave the Indian team a chance at the event in South Africa. However, it was the ODI captain Dravid who had convinced Tendulkar & Ganguly to not play in the 2007 World Cup & let youngsters take the charge.
“Yes, it is true (Rahul Dravid asked Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to not play the 2007 T20 World Cup),” Lalchand Rajput the team manager of the Indian team for the 2007 World T20 told leading media portal in an interaction on their Facebook Page.
“Rahul Dravid was the captain in England and some players came directly from England to Johannesburg (for the T20 World Cup) so they said ‘let’s give an opportunity to the youngsters’. But after winning the World Cup they must have repented it when we won the World Cup,” Rajput added.
“Because Sachin always kept on telling me that I am playing for so many years and I have still not won the World Cup. Ultimately, he won in 2011, but he was dying to win that World Cup, and this team won on the first attempt,” he said.
Rajput also recalled how the team worked hard under the leadership of MS Dhoni as he managed to get the best out of each player.
As a team, in a dressing room, the atmosphere should be very good. You should motivate players, and the players should not feel the pressure. Our theme during the World Cup was ‘tension lene ka nahi, dene ka (Don’t take tension, give tension)’. Dhoni really believed in the motto that people will talk about things, but we need to focus on our strengths and don’t have to worry about what others are saying,” he said.
“Indian team never had a practice of playing for T20I world cup. The team had played only one T20I match while other teams had played more matches. We were not so ready but we had the desire to hold that World Cup trophy in our hands. There were certain senior players who were looking to make a comeback and cement their place in the team. It was a good mixture of senior and junior players,” he added.
Whereas Zimbabwe team Coach strongly felt that Dhoni’s Captaincy was a big factor in India’s win as he often managed to outwit his opposite team member. “He always thought two steps ahead,” Rajput said of Dhoni.
“I felt, like a captain he was a mixture Dravid and Ganguly. He used to give his players a lot of confidence just like how Ganguly did and he also put a lot of thought in the game that was similar to Dravid,” Rajput said.
The 2007 World Cup was a huge turning point for the Indian Cricket team that was reeling after the shock early exit in the 2007 ODI World Cup in West Indies.