What if Sreesanth had dropped Misbah in the 2007 T20 World Cup final?
As Indian cricket fans, we have bittersweet memories associated with the year 2007. While the Men in Blue broke a billion hearts by not living up to the expectations in the ODI World Cup, they healed the wounds most desirably by winning the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup later.
I still get goosebumps thinking about the final. India were up against Pakistan in the Grand Finale of a World Cup; the game was down to the wire. MS Dhoni exhibited his tactical brilliance to perfection as Joginder Sharma became an overnight hero, dismissing a well-set Misbah-ul-Haq, who looked determined to seize the day for his side.
But have you ever thought about what would have happened had Sreesanth dropped that catch?
Pakistan would have become the inaugural champions
Pakistan won the World Cup in 2009 [PC: Twitter]
The way Misbah was batting that day, Pakistan's victory was inevitable if he had stayed till the end. Mind you, the swashbuckling batter had already smashed Sharma for a six and kept him under the pump in the final over. Sharma was trying to pitch the ball up, and anything in the arc of Misbah would've been dispatched into the stands.
IPL would've got a delayed start
Brendon McCullum in IPL [PC: Twitter]
The astounding success of Team India in the T20Is increased the format's popularity to the utmost extent in this cricket-crazy nation. This prompted people to bring the idea of India's domestic T20 tournament, the Indian Premier League. So, had India lost that day, we might not have seen IPL taking birth all of a sudden. We haven't won a single T20 World Cup after the inaugural one. So, who knows whether IPL would've existed at all? And, of course, it's needless to explain how this could've impacted BCCI's revenue as well as global stature.
MS Dhoni would not have had his unique record
MS Dhoni in action [PC: Twitter]
MS Dhoni is the only captain in the history of cricket to have won both ODI and T20I World Cups and the Champions Trophy. Had India lost the 2007 World Cup final, this record would never have existed. On a lighter note, this record is something we Indians boast before the fans of other countries. So, we wouldn't have been able to place our beloved MSD a level above his competitors.