Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has claimed that India have been focussed on ODIs and Tests and that the team wasn’t too focused on T20 cricket earlier than the inaugural T20 World Cup. Mahmood, who last performed for Pakistan in March of 2007, a few months earlier than the World Cup in South Africa, reckons the win opened the gates for T20 cricket in India, ultimately paving the way in which for the T20 phenomena, the IPL.
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“India were not keen [playing T20s] before the T20 World Cup. They were concentrating more on Test match cricket and one-day cricket. It was a massive boost for Indian cricket to win the T20 World Cup, which eventually led to the birth of IPL. It was great to see,” Mahmood said on Wisden’s The Greatest Rivalry podcast.
Mahmood, who by no means performed T20 worldwide in his profession, felt Misbah Ul Haq could have maybe prevented taking part in the inside track shot within the final, the last Pakistan wicket to fall. With 13 wanted off the final over, Misbah struck a six off the second ball of the over from Joginder Sharma to deliver the goal right down to six off 4. Off the third ball, Misbah went for a cheeky scoop, which he didn’t time nicely and the ball landed down S Sreesanth’s throat.
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“Unfortunately, Pakistan was on the losing side. Misbah Ul Haq was playing so well but in the end, he tried to play that scoop shot. He could have hit a straight six off Joginder Sharma but he tried to go with a fancy scoop. I jumped on my sofa, when I saw, but then when the catch was taken, I was like ‘what’s happening’,” Mahmood added.
However, extra than the rest, Mahmood feels the largest takeaway from India successful the T20 World Cup was the rise of MS Dhoni as captain of the Indian team. Appointed skipper of a younger T20 World Cup team, Dhoni succeeded Rahul Dravid as India’s limited-overs captain the identical year earlier than taking cost of the Test team following Anil Kumble’s retirement.
In a captaincy profession that spanned 10 years, Dhoni led India to the 2011 World Cup win and the 2013 Champions Trophy title together with taking India to the No. 1 ICC rankings in Tests.
“It was a great game of cricket, especially for Indian cricket. It was the birth of a great leader in Indian cricket – MS Dhoni. He changed the mindset and a lot of things in Indian cricket, for which he deserves credit,” Mahmood said.