The India-Pakistan rivalry needs no introduction. The time from when the two nations started playing international cricket, the friction between the two nations was evident. Though in the early years West Indies were the ones to dominate the world cricket, the India-Pakistan clashes were the ones which caught more attention. The rivalry has only grown through the years as what can be said till date.
Be it the Pakistan’s triumphant bowling pair of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis or the Indian opening pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly the India-Pakistan matches have never disappointed to entertain the millions of supporters in front of their TV sets. Both the teams have seen their share of successes and defeats during this long thriving rivalry. Pakistan on one side being ahead in total victories in ODIs and in Tests lack behind in the most recent T20 format. India has got the better of Pakistan on major ICC tournaments. They have never lost a match to Pakistan in the World Cup and in the Champions Trophy too they hold a better head to head score.
We take a look back at some of the most memorable India-Pakistan moments in history:
2007 T20 World Cup bowl out
It was the first India-Pakistan T20 International. Heading to the World Cup India had a perfect T20 record and had selected a fairly inexperienced side to represent the contingent in South Africa. Pakistan too competed with some fearsome young talents. Batting first in the match India could manage only 141 after the top order failed and Uthappa and Dhoni scored 50 and 33 respectively. In return, Pakistan looked comfortable at the beginning but their middle order was exposed by Pathan and Harbhajan. Misbah scored 53 rowing the Pakistan innings. Requiring 2 runs off the last 3 deliveries they could only manage a single which lead to the first international bowl-out. India’s Sehwag, Harbhajan, and Uthappa hit the wickets whereas Pakistan’s Arafat, Umar Gul and Afridi missed their chances. This led India to a 3-0 victory in the bowl-outs. None of the spectators expected this kind of a finish of the low scoring game.
India’s first triple century in Tests was registered by Sehwag in Multan in 2004. He hit 39 fours in the innings batting with a strike rate of 82 which was the most by an Indian. He himself bettered the record in 2008 batting against South Africa to score 42 fours. Batting first India posted 675 with Sehwag’s triple and Tendulkar’s 194. The partnership between Tendulkar and Sehwag of 336 runs is still the best 3rd wicket partnership for India. India put up a total of 675 which was then the 3rd highest test score for the side. With these many records shattered in the match, it was hardly going to rub off the memory of the fans anytime soon.
Saeed Anwar’s 194
The biggest boast of Pakistani supporters against the Indian records, Saeed Anwar’s mammoth score of 194 in the Pepsi Independence Cup of 1997 is something to remember for years to come. This kind of score never seemed achievable by a batsman till Anwar shattered all records to set this milestone. Though Rohit Sharma’s 264 is the highest individual score in an ODI, that came in a time of better bats and moreover batsman favoring fielding restrictions. Anwar batted through a time when Viv Richard’s 189 was considered an unachievable score. Kirsten once had come close with 188 but could not surpass the score. Anwar being an opener might have had the advantage of facing more deliveries but still scoring 194 was arguably out of bounds. His record for the highest ODI score remained intact for the next 13 years which was exactly the time it took to surpass Viv Richard’s record. He also set the record for the most fours in an innings with 22 surpassing Richard’s 21. He got out to Tendulkar in the 45th over, which if not had happened could have been the first double century in ODIs.
Kumble’s 10 wicket-innings
The second best bowling figures in a Test innings after the Englishman Jim Lakers 10 for 53 is how astounding of a feat Kumble achieved in the 1999 home series. He completely overshadowed a brilliant bowling display from the Pakistan’s veteran Saqlain Mushtaq who managed a 10-wicket-match. India won the match by 212 runs after consecutive fifties by S Ramesh. Pakistan in the first innings could not settle in well and were bowled out for 172 with Kumble and Harbhajan grabbing 4 and 3 wickets respectively. But the magic happened in the second innings. Chasing 422 Pakistan were sent back at 207 by Kumble himself. A combination of catches, Lbws and bowl’ds summoned up to a 10 wicket haul which has not been seen on the cricket pitch since.
Pakistan lose 2007 T20 World Cup final by 5 runs
India and Pakistan met in the T20 World Cup final after defeating Australia and New Zealand respectively in the semis. Again like the earlier match between the two sides, it was India who batted first and put a total of 157 which could be labeled low considering the Wanderers conditions. Gautam Gambhir with his career best score of 75 and Rohit Sharma at the end smashing some shots past the boundary helped India get to the score. Pakistan in return lost 2 early wickets but Imran Nazir stabilized the innings with his 33. After his fall, Misbah took one end of the pitch but the wickets kept tumbling from the other. Afridi who was thought out to be the biggest threat to the Indian bowling went for a golden duck which might just have been the deciding factor for Pakistan. Needing 13 off the last over, Misbah hit a six off the second ball and scooped the third one towards fine-leg where Sreesanth took a sitter. It was one of the most memorable victories for India as it came not long after the 2007 ODI World Cup fiasco.