Reliving India’s biggest T20 World Cup wins!
Six T20 World Cup editions so far may have given only one coveted trophy, the one that came in the inaugural edition, for India. But the memories it has left the team with are countless. While some are happy throwbacks, some others may be hard pills to swallow, but with these bittersweet memories come the reminder that the upcoming T20 World Cup is only two days away.
Of course, India’s most cherished win would be of the T20 World Cup final, where the team beat Pakistan by five runs to clinch the trophy. However, there are some big wins Team India has registered by numbers.
Ahead of the big event, which India will start with a game against arch-rivals Pakistan, here is a look at India’s biggest wins at the T20 World Cup by runs, wickets and balls left.
India’s biggest win by runs - vs England, 2012
In the group match of the 2012 edition of the T20 World Cup, India faced England in an important encounter. India, despite resting three of its first choice members, pulled off a win to remember and crushed England to a 90-run defeat.
England’s struggle with spin bowling back then was always talked about, but there couldn’t have been a better display of the same than this game. Batting first, India put up 170/4, a par score at Colombo, for England to chase.
Gautam Gambhir (45 off 38), Virat Kohli (40 off 32) and Rohit Sharma (55* off 33) made vital contributions in the first innings to give India this score to defend. However, when England came to bat, their opening batter was the only one who could get going.
Craig Kieswetter’s 35 from 25 balls did not suffice for England as the rest of the team barely made it to the double digit mark. The Indian bowlers were spot on with their spells, sending back the English batters regularly.
Irfan Pathan finished with figures 3-0-17-2, and was also responsible for the fall of England’s first two wickets to reduce the team to 2/1 first and then to 18/2. Then, Harbhajan Singh struck, and would go on to pick four crucial wickets that would totally destabilize the English batting line-up.
Harbhajan ended a fantastic performance with numbers 4-2-12-4 and claimed the Player of the Match award for that game. Piyush Chawla also took two handy wickets, ending with figures of 4-1-13-2.
India’s biggest win by wickets - vs Ireland, 2009
This was yet another night where India looked like the team hardly took any chances to put a win in jeopardy. India won their It was a win spearheaded by legendary pacer Zaheer Khan in the bowling department, followed by ample support from Rohit Sharma in the batting department later.
Ireland batted first in this group match in June 2009, and Zaheer Khan ran riot in their batting order. He picked up the first three out of four wickets that fell for the team, reducing them to 28/4 in just over six overs. Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha chipped in with important wickets too, soon reducing Ireland to 112/8 in what had become an 18-over-a-side affair.
Zak’s 3-0-19-4 and economical bowling from the rest of the unit put Ireland in a spot of bother even before the chase had started. Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma opened the innings for India, building a 77-run stand and giving the team a good start.
The stand broke when Gambhir’s stay ended at 37 (31), and MS Dhoni walked in at number three. By then the damage was done. Rohit went on to score 52* (45), comfortably taking India across the line with eight wickets to spare.
India has also registered an 8-wicket win against Pakistan in 2012, and one against Bangladesh in the 2014 editions of the T20 World Cup, but the chase against Ireland was done in 15.3 overs, as opposed to 17 overs against Pakistan and 18.3 overs against Bangladesh.
India’s biggest win by balls - vs Afghanistan
India’s biggest win by balls came in a group match in the 2010 T20 World Cup, winning the match comfortably by 31 deliveries against Afghanistan. Batting first, Afghanistan could only get 115/8 on board in the first innings.
Only two players from Afghanistan, Noor Ali Zadran (50 in 48 balls) and Asghar Afghan (30 in 33 balls), made it beyond single digits in their batting line-up. A fired-up Ashish Nehra led their collapse, taking out all the three batters at the top of the order.
Praveen Kumar also chipped in with two scalps, and Zaheer Khan and Ravindra Jadeja took one wicket each too, restricting Afghanistan to 115/8. Nehra’s 4-0-19-3 also earned him the Player of the Match in that game.
Murali Vijay, opening with Gautam Gambhir, made 48 (46), a vital contribution to the Indian scorecard. Gambhir departed early, but Suresh Raina’s 18 (13) gave India the platform to end things easily.
Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni did what they were best at doing - finishing splendidly. Yuvraj’s 23* (22) and the then captain’s 15* (6), including two sixes that came in the final over of their batting off consecutive balls, took India home safely, with a 31-ball cushion left.
India has been a part of many memorable games, and these listed here have been some of the biggest wins the team has pulled off in the T20 World Cup. Which win do you recollect the most?