Image Source : GETTY Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma.

With 30 runs required off the last 30 balls and six wickets in the pocket, South Africa had a hand and four fingers on the T20 World Cup trophy. Just in the previous over, Heinrich Klaasen launched onto Axar Patel for a 24-run over to probably kill the contest. He was accompanied by David Miller, the iceman who has done the job for South Africa multiple times. The game was gone but for some reason, India found a way to come out of this situation when even logic would not be working.

A masterclass in the last five overs took India to the glory. The bowlers combined to rattle the Proteas and somehow make India victorious by seven runs. Here we discuss five defining moments that propelled India to the 2024 World Cup glory.

1 – Jasprit Bumrah magic: Possibly India’s greatest bowler of all time in the white-ball format. Bumrah has magic in his hands. He is the lifeline and he saved India’s life in the final. 

When 30 were needed off 30 balls and Klaasen in this bad mood, no one would want to bowl to him. But Bumrah bowled a tight four-run over to trouble the Proteas. He came back for his final one in the 18th and got the wicket of Marco Jansen to send shockwaves in the Proteas camp. Overall, Bumrah ended the day with 2/18 in his four overs.

2 – Hardik Pandya, the man who stood tall: Despite going through some tough times in the last few months, Hardik was there, working as hard as anyone could have. The results showed in this World Cup.

In the final four overs of India’s defence, he bowled two overs and somehow got the job done. After Bumrah created pressure in the 16th over, Hardik charged in and got the big fish Klaasen in the 17th. He then held his nerves to defend 16 off the final over with David Miller still out there.

3 – Arshdeep Singh: Another gem that has done well for India in this tournament has been Arshdeep Singh. His early swing has always put the opposition in trouble and he has done well at the death too. 

When Klaasen and de Kock were batting and spin not working well, India were in trouble and needed wickets. Rohit turned to one of his two premier pacers at a crucial time and Arshdeep got the wicket of de Kock. He then bowled a brilliant 19th over for four runs to give India the much-needed momentum.

4 – Suryakumar Yadav’s catch: There could not have been a greater moment in the game other than Suryakumar Yadav’s catch to dismiss Miller. In the final over when Hardik needed to defend 16, Miller smashed the all-rounder straight down the ground and the ball was sailing over the fence but in came Suryakumar running from long-off to pull off a masterful catch. That was probably the World Cup flying in the air.

5 – Virat Kohli and Axar’s knocks: Virat Kohli’s knock of 76 from 59 immediately came under the scanner for potentially being a bit slow. But as the big wickets were down and conditions not conducive enough for the batting, Kohli played a masterful knock to take India to a strong total.

Axar helped in his cause. India were 34/3 in 4.3 overs and needed both partnership and runs at pace. Axar came in at Number 5 and scored 47 from 31 balls. That gave India a good platform for finish and Shivam Dube’s 27 then powered India to over 170, which proved out to be just enough on the day.