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‘He stood right behind the stumps’ – Robin Uthappa on how MS Dhoni’s smartness helped India in the 2007 bowl out against Pakistan

Robin Uthappa, in his entire international career, has bowled only three balls. Even as two of them were in ODI cricket, the other was during the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa. During the mega event, he was backed to hit the stumps in a bowl-out against Pakistan at the Kingsmead in Durban. He bowled the third delivery and helped the Men in Blue win by 3-0.


Going down the memory lane, the now 34-year-old Uthappa credited MS Dhoni for India’s glory. The Karnataka-born said that Dhoni, who was captaining India for the first time, stood behind the stumps. Uthappa mentioned that it helped the bowlers in aiming successfully at the stumps.
“One of the things that MS [Dhoni] did really well, and that he did different from what the Pakistan ‘keeper did was, where he stood behind the stumps,” Uthappa was quoted as saying on Rajasthan Royals’ podcast with New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi.
We just had to bowl at MS: Robin Uthappa
In contrary to Dhoni, Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan wicketkeeper, stood in a normal keeper’s position. All of Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat and Shahid Afridi missed the stumps.
“The Pakistan ‘keeper (Kamran Akmal) was standing where a WK usually stands. A few feet back and besides the stump — just alongside the stump. But MS was (sitting) right behind the stumps and that made it so much easier for us. We just had to bowl at MS and it gave us the best chance to hit the wickets. That’s all we did,” he added.


During the mandatory 40 overs, India got a lucky escape as Misbah-ul-Haq failed to score one run off the last delivery after hitting Sreesanth for a couple of fours in the same over. The batsman was run out at the non-striker’s end after which the game went into a bowl-out. Both teams ended on 141 and it also happened to be India’s first victory under Dhoni in international cricket.
Despite the Men in Blue coming out trumps, it was Mohammad Asif, who won the Player of the Match award for his four-wicket haul. Uthappa had a decent game with the bat as well, scoring 50 runs off 39 balls with four fours and a couple of sixes.



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Thought of the day

The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others