Gujarat Giants star all-rounder Joginder Sharma became a household name after he defended 13 runs in the epic last over of the final against arch-rivals Pakistan to help India clinch the inaugural edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2007 in South Africa.
The Haryana-born cricketer dismissed Pakistan’s in-form batter Misbah-ul-Haq in the final over of the match to guide India to a sensational five-run victory at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
In an exclusive interview with the Gujarat Giants, Joginder Sharma revealed his conversation with captain MS Dhoni during the last over of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2007 final.
“The pressure was not that I had to defend 13 runs in the last over and how I’ll bowl. The equation was simple and even Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) said not to take any tension, even If we lose, it will be his responsibility,” the right-arm pacer added.
“I said why should we lose, we need to pick the opposition’s only remaining wicket. There are six balls and 13 runs to get, they will get dismissed,” he added.
Recalling the last over, Joginder Sharma stated that he was always confident of getting the job done.
“The first ball that I bowled, it was a wide. The second bowl I was hit for a six. I said even if I get him dismissed with one run remaining, we will win.” Sharma stated.
The Gujarat Giants cricketer further added that his bowling action helped him get the final wicket of Pakistan talisman Misbah-ul-Haq.
“When I deliver a bowl, I usually pause after my jump, which is god-gifted and gives me a fraction of a second more than other bowlers. Before delivering the bowl, I saw Misbah was already ready for a scoop.
“So, while our previous plan was to bowl an outside off-stump yorker, when I saw him in that position, I bowled short and reduced the speed, which hit Misbah’s edge and went into the air where Sreesanth was standing. I was praying that he takes the catch. If he missed it, we would be in trouble. However, Sreesanth took the catch and we won the World Cup,” Sharma added with a smile on his face.
Electing to bat first, India rode on Gautam Gambhir’s brilliant 75 off 54 balls and Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 16-ball 30 to post 157/5 in their allotted 20 overs in the 2007 T20 World Cup final. In reply, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals as they were bundled out for 152.
Since making his international debut in a One-Day International (ODI) against Bangladesh in 2004, Joginder Sharma represented India in four 50-over matches and as many T20Is.