Former India pacer S Sreesanth has revealed that he was not thinking about taking a catch while being positioned at short fine leg by MS Dhoni during the last over of the 2007 T20 World Cup final. According to Sreesanth, his only focus was to ensure that he didn't concede a second run if the ball came to him.
On Friday, September 24, India celebrated 14 years of their historic T20 World Cup win, which they achieved by defeating Pakistan in a last-over thriller in Johannesburg. Sreesanth was the man who took Misbah-ul-Haq’s catch off Joginder Sharma to seal a famous win.
In an exclusive interaction with Sportskeeda, Sreesanth relived the famous last moments of the unforgettable Indo-Pak clash.
“Nobody in that position would want the ball to come to you, especially in a India-Pakistan match. But I am very grateful to captain Dhoni bhai (MS Dhoni) for putting me in that position - short fine leg. That is one area where the ball hardly comes. I have to thank Misbah-ul-Haq, who played that shot,” a gleeful Sreesanth recalled.
The 38-year-old admitted that there was a lot of pressure on India since Misbah was batting really well.
“When Joginder bhai (Joginder Singh) was bowling, the first ball was wide, then one went for a six and there was enough stress and pressure. I was praying that, if the ball comes to me, I should not give them double. I never thought about the catch. The ball went really high and…,” Sreesanth added.
The Kerala cricketer credited then fielding coach Robin Singh for making the team practice backward running catches.
“I was fortunate that Robin Singh was our fielding coach and we practised a lot of backward running catches. So, I took a few steps back and the ball ended in my arms. It actually popped out once and, on the second attempt, I took the catch,” the former India pacer fondly recollected.
Sreesanth proved expensive in the final with the ball, conceding 44 in four overs. However, he claimed the crucial wicket of Sohail Tanvir, who had struck two sixes, with a yorker.
“With Dhoni bhai being mentor, hopefully this team will win one more World Cup” - Sreesanth
India haven’t won the T20 World Cup since the inaugural edition in 2007. They made it to the final in 2014, where they went down to Sri Lanka. Sreesanth believes that the current team has it in them to go all the way.
“We have not won any T20 World Cup after that (2007). So hopefully, this team will win one more World Cup, especially with Dhoni bhai being the mentor of the team. It will be great to see,” Sreesanth asserted.
On a parting note, Sreesanth was asked what he thought would have happened had he dropped the 2007 T20 World Cup final catch. He replied:
“I don’t know. And you will never know.”
Four years later, Sreesanth was part of the Indian team that lifted the 50-over World Cup trophy, defeating Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai. The speedster played in the final and had figures of 0/52 from 8 overs.