When T20 format was in nascent stages, in the event of a tie, the winners were determined by a ‘bowl-out’.
A ‘bowl-out’ was analogous to the penalties of soccer. Only instead of goals, bowlers had to hit the wickets. The best out of five bowl-outs were deemed winners.
Super Over then replaced the rule, but not before it stimulated excitement in a high-octane India-Pakistan World Cup clash.
During the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, India and Pakistan faced off in a group encounter in Durban. After the match was tied, the winners were determined by a blockbuster ‘bowl-out’.
Now, the then-bowling coach of the Indian team, Venkatesh Prasad has opened up to the preparations which took place for the ‘bowl-out’.
“We had gone through the rules and regulations of the World Cup. When there was a tied game, there was no Super Over back then, there was a bowl out. Obviously we always use to practice it,” Prasad told Ravichandran Ashwin on Youtube show ‘DRS with Ash’.
Even the squad members of the Indian team revealed about the training drills which took place in the event of the match getting tied.
“We had this competition between batsmen and bowlers. Most of the batsmen wanted to bowl as well, like MS Dhoni, Sehwag, and Robin Uthappa. We had this competition in these nets,” Prasad continued.
The player with the maximum accuracy was then nominated for the bowl-out. Interestingly, the best from the competition were part-timers Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa.
“I was looking at what was happening from behind. So I knew who was hitting the wickets consistently. That’s when I saw Sehwag hitting, Uthappa hitting and Harbhajan hitting,” the former Indian pacer added.
“So we said okay fine. Nobody expected that our very first match will have a bowl-out. It was a tight game. It was a bowl-out. It was not hard for me to convince MS Dhoni, saying ‘these are the guys who are doing well’.
“We had to take our chances as well. We did take a bit of chance there, having Sehwag and Uthappa I had to back my instinct and make a decision. The slower bowlers are more in control of their bodies and delivery. They had a straight-arm action.”
In the end, the faith entrusted on the part-timers paid rich dividends for Dhoni and Co., as Sehwag, Uthappa and Harbhajan Singh were on target in the bowl-out.
Meanwhile, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat, all three regular bowlers, missed their targets and India ended up winning the thriller.