Why Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly skipped 2007 T20 World Cup: Lalchand Rajput reveals


The memories of India’s 2007 T20 World Cup triumph still remains fresh in the memories of Indian cricket fans. A young team led by MS Dhoni dominated the inaugural edition of the tournament and clinched the title in South Africa.

Yuvraj Singh was the show-stealer. The all-rounder demolished England and gave India the upper-hand in the semi-final with a 30-ball 70. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh and Harbhajan singh stepped up as the young team rallied against odds to win the coveted trophy.

Not much was expected of India in the absence of their Big 3. Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly decided against playing the T20 World Cup and India was led by Dhoni for the first time in the tournament in South Africa.

As it turns out, it was a conscious decision from Dravid, the then India captain in the limited-overs format, as he requested Ganguly and Tendulkar to miss the T20 World Cup in 2007 in a bid to give youngsters an opportunity to shine at the highest level.

Lalchand Rajput, who was the manager of the team during the T20 World Cup, revealed the trio decided to skip the T20 World Cup after their tour of England in 2007 and that the trio would have repented their decision, given India went on to win the title.

“Yes, it is true [Rahul Dravid asked Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to not play the 2007 T20 World Cup],”?Rajput said during an online interaction for Sportskeeda.

“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.

“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.”

‘Don’t take tension, give tension’

Rajput also shed light on how MS Dhoni adapted to the captaincy in his very first tournament as the skipper of the team. The former manager said the World Cup-winning skipper had asked the team to shut out outside noise and focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the side.

“As a team, in a dressing room, the atmosphere should be very good. You should motivate players, and the players should not feel the pressure.

“Our theme during the World Cup was ‘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 said.

India went on to win the World Cup after beating Pakistan in a last-over thriller in Johannesburg.

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