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ICC World Twenty20 2007



India skipper Mahendra Dhoni celebrates his team's triumph in Johannesburg
Dhoni's men restored damaged reputations in South Africa
Captain Mahendra Dhoni said India's World Twenty20 triumph had made amends for their 50-over World Cup nightmare.

The Indians went out at the first stage in the Caribbean but edged out Pakistan in Johannesburg to be crowned the best team in the world in the short format.

"The Twenty20 version will catch on in India. The excitement and type of game it is will be a big hit in India.

"And after the way we departed from the World Cup this will do some repair work for some time," Dhoni explained.

India, whose only previous major silverware was the 1983 World Cup, were not among the fancied nations coming into the competition.

Star batsmen Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly opted out, the team had only played one game in cricket's newest format, while India was the last major Test-playing nation to introduce a domestic Twenty20 competition.

But their success earned them a cash bonus of 1.5m from the Indian cricket board, while Yuvraj Singh netted 125,000 for hitting six sixes in an over against England.

606: DEBATE

"It's something I will treasure for the rest of my life," Dhoni said of his team's triumph.

"There was a determination among us. We were not expected to do well because we had not done well in the last World Cup and that was a key point.

"We also enjoyed this format of the game because nothing much was expected from us so we didn't have added pressure or added responsibility on anyone - the guys really enjoyed it and played it match by match."

Tight bowling from Umar Gul, who took three wickets, helped restrict India to 157-5, a total which looked below-par when Imran Nazir attacked at the start of the reply.

We knew one thing: if you can get quick wickets and pressurise the batsmen it gets really hard

Mahendra Dhoni

But RP Singh and Irfan Pathan matched Gul with equally impressive stints to turn the game around, although some late swinging of the bat from Misbah-ul-Haq almost snatched victory for Pakistan.

"The way Gul and Yasir Arafat bowled was excellent but we knew one thing: if you can get quick wickets and pressurise the batsmen it gets really hard," Dhoni said.

"Our bowling was consistent throughout the tournament and one of the main reasons for us winning it.

Man of the match Pathan added: "When I came on I was under a bit of pressure but I held my nerve and bowled in the right areas.

"The pitch was a bit on the slow side, it was holding a bit so I had to bowl a lot of slower ones. The batsmen were going after the bowling so I just mixed the pace up a bit.

"It could have gone any way - Misbah was playing really well - but all the bowlers did really well throughout the tournament. We played as a team and deserve this especially after what happened at the World Cup."



SEE ALSO
India team basks in media glory
25 Sep 07 |  South Asia
World Twenty20 final ratings
24 Sep 07 |  Cricket
Humbled Indian team returns home
29 Mar 07 |  South Asia


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