Of the three World Cup wins that India have tasted across formats – in 1983, 2007, and 2011 – it is the win that came in South Africa that was the most exciting to today's cricket fans. MS Dhoni's side won a thrilling final against Pakistan in Johannesburg by 5 runs. Within months, the inaugural Indian Premier League was launched, and India's ascendancy to being a cricketing superpower began.

It was largely an experimental side that left for South Africa for what was the first T20 World Cup. Spectators were still getting used to the format, which was by and large, viewed as more exhibition match-like than a true test of a player's skills.

There were some who were surprised by Dhoni getting the captaincy instead of Yuvraj Singh, who was more experienced. The muted expectations could perhaps be pinned to the ignominy and the subsequent public outrage after India had exited the 50-over World Cup in the group stages only a few months earlier.

India won a thrilling bowl-out against Pakistan in the group stages, but it still didn't stoke great interest among fans. It took Yuvraj Singh to smash Stuart Broad for six sixes and change that. It would go on to be a tournament defining innings.

South Africa and Australia were humbled in consecutive games to set up an encounter only witnessed in jingoistic Bollywood potboilers: An India-Pakistan World Cup final (another one was to follow soon, this time in ODIs).

Gautam Gambhir put patience over flamboyance with his 75 and it took a late cameo from a young Rohit Sharma to take India to a respectable 157/5. The opposition was Pakistan and the Indian bowlers, led by the clever Irfan Pathan, made regular inroads as the men in green buckled under pressure.

Standing tall amidst the ruins was Misbah-ul-Haq, a 33-year-old one-time reject. Despite running out of partners, Haq took his side within one big hit away from a win. But the ball died on him as he prepared to paddle it down to the fine leg fence, only to sky it into S Sreesanth's trembling palms.