The final of the inaugural World T20 in 2007 will forever go down in cricket’s history as one of the greatest encounters of all times. The memorable contest between arch-rivals India and Pakistan saw twist after twist, but eventually, the Men in Blue emerged victorious after Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq famously(for some) and infamously(for some) scooped a delivery in the final over to Sreesanth at short fine-leg.
India won the title and their 2nd World Cup crown by 5 runs. But, there was a stage in the match when it was all going Pakistan’s way.
Speaking in an interview to ESPNCricinfo’s The Cricket Monthly, Harbhajan Singh recalled the over in which Misbah smashed him for three sixes. It was the 17th over of the game, and after Harbhajan was struck for 19 runs, the momentum shifted in Pakistan’s favour.
Talking about his career, Harbhajan said that there were a few games in which he felt anxious and added the T20I final against Pakistan was one such match.
“Because after I was hit for a six, the pressure kept increasing. Rather than thinking what to do next, I was rushing through my deliveries. I wanted to just finish that over and feel, Chalo, ho gaya mera [I’ve finished my job],” the veteran spinner said.
“Take that over where Misbah [-ul-Haq] went after me. Okay, anybody can be hit for a six or two sixes or three sixes, but was my process correct? Many times we [bowlers] are ourselves so scared about being hit, we send the batsman the message that we are on the back foot,” he added.
Bhaji further explained his strategies against Misbah in that over.
“So against Misbah I just wanted to bowl the quicker delivery and the yorker. Because in the the semi-final, against Australia, I bowled six yorkers and it worked. Maybe there I was taking a bit longer, I was more focused, more composed, and able to stick to my plan,” he added.
Harbhajan also opened up on what he felt went wrong with his gameplan.
“Against Pakistan, maybe I was rushing. I was not soaking up the pressure. When you are in a rush, you are not settled. Your feet are not working properly. Or your hands do not coordinate smoothly in your bowling action. Your front hand falls down quickly, or your bowling hand comes late, sometimes the ball does not spin, and what you want does not happen,” he concluded.