Dilip Vengsarkar, unveiling the ICC T20 World Cup at Bombay Gymkhana, offered an insight into the chain of events that culminated in India winning the inaugural 2007 edition in South Africa. India beat Pakistan by five runs in the final at Johannesburg.
The former India Test captain was the chairman of selectors in 2007 when the BCCI decided to field a team, in line with other ICC affiliate nations.
“India was one of the last countries to agree to participate. We chose a team of youngsters, who brought energy into the side,” said Vengsarkar, about the squad that was captained by M.S. Dhoni.
The decision by a few seniors to drop out allowed the selectors to field youngsters who were very good in the one-day format, he said, about the circumstances leading to Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, S. Sreesanth getting into a T20 World Cup squad.
India has not been able to catch the rivals by surprise since then and though Dhoni is in charge, the former world champion will be desperate to strike form by the time the 2014 edition begins in Bangladesh.
“Dhoni’s return will make an impact. He has considerable experience as skipper and batsman. We need a batsman like him at No. 6,” Vengsarkar said.
He pointed out that wickets in Bangladesh were similar to the ones in India, so the players know what to expect. “A captain is only as good as his team. We have competent batsmen, the attack has limitations. It is unfortunate that bowling options are limited. The same players are playing different formats, leaving them stale and tired,” he said.
He expressed delight at Brijesh Patel’s appointment as team manager for the Bangladesh event. “We have a former cricketer as manager. Board administrators used to go, this time we have a player. I hope his inputs will make a difference.”