Bangalore: It is now well known that India did not quite embrace the Twenty20 format when it was first introduced. They went into the inaugural edition of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 on the back of just one international match in South Africa, a good 10 months preceding the tournament. Virender Sehwag captained the team in a game in which India emerged winners, where the match was set up by the bowlers who restricted a strong South African batting line-up to 120.
In 2007, triumph at the ICC World T20 was partly due to the bowlers, who played a vital role throughout the competition. This was most evident in the final super-eights clash against South Africa, which India had to win to qualify for the semifinal. Defending 154, an attack consisting of RP Singh, S Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan tied the South African team in knots. It helped that the game was played at Kingsmead, Durban, where there's assistance for the quick bowlers. And, in the final, the team defended 157, a score which was chased down with ease in Johannesburg during the league stages of the competition.
In sharp contrast, the bowling was taken to the cleaners in 2009 and 2010 in England and West Indies respectively. Irfan and Harbhajan featured in both those editions of the World T20. But, that was when Irfan was making up the numbers as a third seamer who could chip in with a couple of overs, while Harbhajan was the lead spinner, with Pragyan Ojha and Piyush Chawla to complement him.