In 2007, when the Indian cricket team won the first T20 World Cup, a bunch of senior cricketers missed the tournament. Lalchand Rajput, who was the team manager of men in blue at that time revealed it was then captain Rahul Dravid who convinced Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to give the tournament a miss.
Reason behind trio not playing
The 2007 T20 World Cup saw a bunch of Indian youngsters winning the trophy under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Senior cricketers like Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and Rahul Dravid did not take part in the showpiece event. Lalchand Rajput, the team manager of the Indian team at that time revealed, “Yes, it is true (Rahul Dravid asked Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to not play the 2007 T20 World Cup). Rahul Dravid was the captain in England and some players came directly from England to Johannesburg (for the T20 World Cup) so they said ‘let’s give an opportunity to the youngsters’. But after winning the World Cup they must have repented it when we won the World Cup.”
Rajput further added, “Because Sachin always kept on telling me that I am playing for so many years and I have still not won the World Cup. Ultimately, he won in 2011, but he was dying to win that World Cup and this team won on the first attempt.”
Mixture of senior and junior
Rajput recalled the historic moments and remembered the electrifying atmosphere. He explained the leadership of Dhoni and said, “Our theme during the World Cup was ‘tension lene ka nahi, dene ka (Don’t take tension, give tension)’. Dhoni really believed in the motto that people will talk things, but we need to focus on our strengths, and don’t have to worry about what others are saying.”
Rajput opined that the win changed the perspective of Indian cricket and the mixture of the senior and junior players did the magic. “There were certain senior players who were looking to make a comeback and cement their place in the team. It was a good mixture of senior and junior players. The T20I tournament is for young legs, you got to run around, and energetic, and super fit, and this made the difference in the team.”
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