Ever since the inception of the T20 World Cup in 2007, team India has been an eminent part of it. In the inaugural edition of the tournament, they were the side that nobody expected to win. Proving the cricketing pundits wrong, India turned into that team that created two of the biggest upsets of the tournament by defeating the host South Africa in the Super 8 stage and later Australia in the Semifinals. The final too was a thrilling contest in which India defeated Pakistan to become the inaugural champions of the tournament. Since then, they have not won a single edition of it, although they reached the semifinals and finals on different occasions but fell short of the glory. This doesn’t mean that they have failed to put up an outstanding performance in the tournament. Rather, Indian players have put up some masterful performances in the recent past. With the World Cup still on, let’s visit some of the greatest performances by Indians in the T20 World Cup.
Virat Kohli 82 runs of 51 balls| India vs Australia | 24th March 2016 | Mohali, India
Virat Kohli has played several match-winning knocks in the past that people have lost count of them. But if there was to make a top-10 list of his knocks, then this one would make it to the top 5, as it does in our list, too. The Indian skipper is known as the king of the chases. He has the best average of 52 for chasing in T20.
What makes Virat Kohli potent in such a scenario is his perseverance and self-belief. That is exactly what he put up on display in the group stage match against Australia in the 2016 T20 world cup. Batting first Australia had made just 160 runs in their first inning. Everyone thought India would chase it down easily. It didn’t go down that way, though. At the end of the 14th over, India found itself 4 wickets down with only 94 runs on the board. The only good thing was that Kohli was on the crease batting at 35 and was joined by the Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who was also considered as one of the best finishers in the world. That night was all about Virat Kohli though, as he chased down 39 runs in the last 3 overs to win his side of the game with balls to spare. Kohli alone made 82 runs off just 51 balls, which is over 50% of the total score.
RP Singh 4/13 | India vs South Africa | 20th September 2007 | Durban, SA
Many remember the Super 8 stage encounter between South Africa and India for Rohit Sharma’s half-century. Very few people actually remember the very potent and impactful spell of RP Singh that indeed turned the game on its heels. Batting first after winning the toss, India posted 164. It was a meager total against South Africa, which had the likes of Gibbs, Graeme Smith, de Villiers, and Boucher. What made the difference on that day for India was their fast bowlers especially RP Singh who impacted from his very first ball of the match to dismiss Gibbs for just 1, in the same over he also removed Smith for 4 to reduce South Africa to 12 for 2 at the end of 2 overs. Then the other bowlers too came into the game and later Singh dismissed Pollock and Philander to register the best figures by an Indian bowler in the T20 World Cups.
Virat Kohli 55 of 37 | India vs Pakistan | 19th March 2016 | Kolkata, India
It was the fifth encounter between India and Pakistan in T20 World Cups. India was already leading the match up by the margin of 4-0 and the pressure was enormous coming to the match as the match was being played in India. the pressure seemed to have gotten to the Pakistani team as they struggled with the bat in hand. This time they were more dismal than the previous occasions, as they could only muster a score of 118 runs in their 18 overs of a rain-reduced match. Their bowlers, however, put up a great fight, with Mohammad Amir and Shami making a comeback to the team in this tournament, giving India some early blows as Dhawan and Rohit. It was once again none other than Virat Kohli, the man with the golden touch who anchored the inning as well as scored a fabulous 55 of just 37 balls to cruise his team to victory in the 16th over.
Irfan Pathan 3/16 | India vs Pakistan | 24th September 2007| Johannesburg, SA
The final of the 2007 T20 World Cup is remembered for many things like that amazing inning by Gambhir, the final over by Joginder Sharma, or the under pressure catch by Sreesanth. But seldom do we remember the amazing spell by Irfan Pathan that indeed got us back into the game. Having posted just 157 runs in their 20 overs, India required their bowlers to step up and Pathan did just that by removing Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, and Yasir Arafat for a collective total of 23 runs between the three batsmen. This brought India back to the game. For his game-changing performance, Pathan was also adjourned as the player of the match.
Yuvraj Singh 58 of 16 | India vs England | 19th September 2007| Durban, SA
No true Indian fan can ever forget this magnificent knock by Yuvraj Singh that made him immortal in the game’s history forever. It was a run-fest for sure, as both the Indian openers put up a great show by scoring 136 runs for the first wicket. However, the night is remembered for the raining sixes by Yuvraj Singh in the 19th over of the game. It is believed that Andrew Flintoff and Yuvraj had a little altercation after the 18th over was bowled. This enraged the left-hander so much that he took out all the anger on a young and inexperienced Stuard Broad, by smoking him for 6 sixes off his over. In this inning, Yuvraj became the first batsman to smash 6 sixes in an over, he also made a record for the fastest 50 in this tournament by achieving the feat in just 12 balls. This record of his still stands.