New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have failed to cross the final hurdle on Sunday, but for those who saw the Team India captain from close quarters, particularly during the 2007 World T20, he remains the king of limited-overs cricket.
Against many odds, India won the inaugural World T20 in 2007, and among those who played a key role in the final against Pakistan was one Joginder Sharma.
He became part of the Indian cricketing folklore for his match winning last over.
On Sunday, the Haryana pace bowler watched the final against Sri Lanka on television and felt Dhoni was let down by unusually poor batting.
“To me, Dhoni is still the Badshah… He is the best captain I have come across in my career,” Joginder told The Telegraph.
“Nobody can think like him even in difficult situations. He always comes up with new ideas. But today, he was completely helpless, especially after the way Yuvraj Singh batted.”
Joginder did not agree that it was a mistake to send Yuvraj at No. 4.
“Such things are always said in hindsight. Has anyone ever seen Yuvraj struggling like this? So why blame Dhoni for it? I think Yuvraj had some fitness problems. Otherwise, how can you justify his 11 runs off 21 balls? Full marks also to the Sri Lankan bowlers,” Joginder said.
Joginder said a total of 130 was too little for the bowlers to defend. “It was a tough task… Almost impossible. India have a tradition of defending small totals, but T20 cricket has changed a lot.
“When we played in World Cup 2007, T20 was a relatively new format. Now, IPL type leagues are played all over the world. The game has become faster.
“There are now shots like scoop and reverse sweep, which are used widely. All teams regularly chase scores like 170-180,” said Joginder.
The medium-pacer said he had a feeling that the final could be a difficult match for India.
“I knew playing against an Asian opponent would be tough. They also know the conditions well. We still could have done it. But you can’t expect to win a match after such mediocre batting.”