The inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007 not only revolutionalised the game, but also impacted Indian cricket severely. A young team missing the likes of maestros including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid landed in South Africa with almost little to no expectations of lifting the prestigious cup. However, in a twist of fate, the young side led by a young lad from Ranchi went on to lift the World Cup defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals.
Recollecting the 2007 campaign, the then manager of Team India Lalchand Rajput revealed several inside stories of the 2007 tournament in a recent interaction with Sportskeeda. Rajput also shed light upon the reason why seniors including Ganguly and the Master Blaster himself, skipped the T20 World Cup in South Africa.
In his interview, Lalchand Rajput revealed that it was former skipper Rahul Dravid who requested senior cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to give the tournament a miss. He stated that the Indian team was in England and were slated to fly directly to South Africa for their campaign, however, Dravid who captained the team then, advised that a young side should feature in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup. The ex-Indian team manager additionally stated that Sachin Tendulkar kept calling him for many years after India’s win to tell “I am playing for so many years and I have still not won the World Cup.”
In the interview, Lalchand Rajput hailed MS Dhoni’s leadership by saying that the veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batsman always used to think “two steps ahead of the opponent”. He described the former skipper as someone who was very calm in his approach. Rajput added that MS Dhoni was always a “thinking captain” and that he was a “mixture of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid”.