India won the first-ever men’s T20 World Cup, in 2007, defeating Pakistan in a nail-biter in the final. It marked the arrival of MS Dhoni the captain, and Indian cricket changed forever. We look back at the tournament and see how the cricketers fared after that event.
India lost one game in the entire edition, against New Zealand, before they went on a four-match winning streak. The entire competition had plenty of memorable moments for Indian fans, starting from Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes in an over off Stuart Broad or the bowl-out against Pakistan in the first round. The Men in Blue defeated Australia in the semifinal, before clinching the title a few days later, defeating Pakistan by five runs.
The top-scorer in the T20 World Cup final, making 75, Gambhir went on to play another match-winning knock in the 2011 World Cup final, hitting 97 in the successful run-chase. Gambhir enjoyed a successful outing for India after the event and ended with more than 10,000 international runs across formats. He captained Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies and ended as one of the finest skippers, his persistence to bring Sunil Narine on board, being hailed as a masterstroke.
Gambhir last played for India in 2016, with his last professional game coming two years later. He is currently the coach of Lucknow Super Giants and has forayed into politics, and is an elected Member of Parliament of a constituency in Delhi.
The wicketkeeper went on to become one of the greatest captains, helping India win the 2011 World Cup and the Champions Trophy two years later. He also left his mark as a skipper in the IPL, winning four titles, and helping Chennai Super Kings qualify for the top four in 11 of 13 editions.
Dhoni retired from international cricket in 2020 after playing 535 games across formats. He is currently the skipper of Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
Yuvraj played a part in the T20 format gaining spotlight after he hit Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over against England. He ended the tournament with the most sixes in the edition (12), striking at 194.73. No other player scored more runs at a better strike rate.
Yuvraj was the star of the 2011 World Cup, where he impressed with both bat and ball, picking up 15 wickets and scoring 362 runs. A few months after winning the Player of the Tournament award, Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer. He did make three comebacks to the team, but the stints were short. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2019 and played in the Global T20 Canada league that year.
Agarkar picked up one wicket in the tournament in two innings. He conceded 40 runs against New Zealand and did not play a T20I again. It was also his last match for India in any format. Agarkar continued playing in the IPL and for Mumbai for the next few years, before hanging up his boots in 2013. He is currently the assistant coach of the Delhi Capitals and has turned into a commentator.
The spinner last played for India in 2012 at the age of 23 but went on to build a reputation in the Indian Premier League. He picked up 157 wickets in the competition at a strike rate of 21, remaining accurate and lethal throughout the innings. Piyush Chawla continues to play domestic cricket, having switched teams from Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat, although he did not play in the 2021/22 Ranji Trophy, He now works as a cricket expert on television.
The player who wore his heart on his sleeves scalped seven wickets in the T20 World Cup in 2007, but he had a start-stop career with India thereafter. He played one T20I in 2008 and 18 more from 2009 to 2016. His decline in other formats was also evident. Harbhajan averaged over 40 in his last 23 Tests and a little over 35 in ODIs from 2010. A part of the 2011 World Cup squad, he recently lashed out at Dhoni for mishandling him and a few other senior players. Harbhajan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket last December and has now ventured into politics besides also doing commentary stints.
Joginder played only four T20Is but has gone down as a hero, bowling the famous delivery that got Misbah-ul-Haq’s wicket in the final that won India the T20 World Cup. It was his last delivery ever for India. He played 12 IPL games for Chennai Super Kings and is now serving as a police officer in Haryana.
One of the two players from the squad who will turn out for India in the 2022 T20 World Cup, Karthik’s career has been a topsy-turvy ride. He got a Test call-up after eight years, in 2018, for the series against England, and was constantly in and out of the side in ODIs as well. His 2018 Nidahas Trophy heroics, where he struck 29* in eight balls earned a place in the 2019 World Cup team, but a poor outing meant he was dropped. Karthik took up commentating for Sky Sports and got a surprise call-up in June 2022 after an impressive IPL.
Yusuf made his T20I debut in the final against Pakistan but did not have the most fruitful career thereafter. He played 22 more games in the format, averaging just over 18 with a high score of 37*. He enjoyed more success in ODIs, where he played 57 games, including six in the 2011 World Cup. He was heavily backed by Shane Warne in the IPL, where he played for Rajasthan Royals, before moving to Kolkata Knight Riders. He announced his retirement last year.
Irfan was the Player of the Match in the final, and he ended the campaign with 10 wickets to his name. After a promising start, the left-hander’s career never really took off: he last played for India in 2012 at the age of 27. Following his international retirement, he has taken up commentary and even played in the Lanka Premier League.
The dashing opener scored 133 runs in the T20 World Cup, but opportunities dried up thereafter for him. Since the event, he played 12 more matches in the format, with his last appearance coming in 2012. Sehwag was a Test regular despite his limited white-ball outings and played his last five-day game for India in 2013. He announced his retirement a few years later, and was associated with Punjab Kings as the mentor for three seasons.
Rohit Sharma made his debut during the 2007 World Cup, and after a few blips, managed to establish himself as one of the greats of the game. 15 years since, he will captain India in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.
RP Singh was the highest wicket-taker for India in the 2007 event, grabbing 12 scalps. He has an impressive CV, picking up five wickets at Lord’s, besides playing the memorable Test match at Perth in 2007/08. However, he last played for India before he turned 26. He did have a few impressive seasons in the IPL but lost consistency soon after.
A lethal bowler in his prime, Sreesanth was involved in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal in the IPL, which effectively ended his career. He was arrested with a life ban imposed by the BCCI. The Supreme Court overturned the ban to seven years, and Sreesanth made a return to professional cricket in 2021, having dabbled in acting. He announced his retirement this year.
Uthappa went on to become an icon for Kolkata Knight Riders, playing with the team from 2014 to 2019, and forging a memorable partnership with Gambhir at the top of the order. The Kerala batter played for Rajasthan Royals in 2020 before being traded to Chennai Super Kings. He announced his retirement from all formats this year and was part of the commentary during India’s recent tour to Zimbabwe.