With India and Pakistan now in the same group in the 2021 ICC World T-20, the two teams will play each other for a landmark 200th time when the tournament begins.
The rivalry between these two teams is one of the most intense ones in the sporting world. The political differences between the two nations mean that there is much more at stake here than any other international cricket match.
An India vs Pakistan match draws more views than all other matches played by either of them. Everyone knows exactly what’s on the line when India and Pakistan clash, and the matches between them are remembered forever, whether it’s the 2017 Champion’s Trophy Final where Pakistan defeated India by 180 runs, or India’s 7-0 undefeated streak against Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Out of the 199 matches played between them, Pakistan has more wins against India with 86. In response, India has won 70 matches against Pakistan. However, India has defeated Pakistan every single time the two teams have clashed in the ICC World Cup and the ICC World T-20, winning all 11 matches.
It’s a matter of pride for both teams who are at no cost ready to lose to each other. This has produced some of the greatest, and most interesting matches ever. Let’s take a look at 3 of the most unforgettable India vs Pakistan matches in cricket history.
India vs Pakistan 2004 (Samsung Cup)
Back in 2004, a score of 300 seemed nearly impossible. A team that scored 300 in the first innings had won the match. At such a time, India put up a mammoth total of 349 against Pakistan.
Rahul Dravid’s 99 and Virender Sehwag’s 79 helped push India to have one of the highest ODI scores at the time, along with Pakistan infamously bowling 20 no-balls and 10 wides.
But things started to get more intense, as Pakistan started to catch up with the required run rate in the second half of the match. Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s 122 and Mohammad Yusuf’s 73 ensured that Pakistan stays in the game.
With just 10 runs needed off 8 balls in the end, a brilliant catch by Mohammad Kaif followed by a brilliant final over by Ashish Nehra ensured India’s win by 5 runs in the very competitive high-scoring game, as Pakistan finished with 344 on the board.
India vs Pakistan 2014 (Asia Cup)
This, just like the other matches on the list, is one of the closest matches in cricket history. India batted first and scored 245 thanks to half-centuries from Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, and Ravindra Jadeja.
Team Pakistan fought back with Mohammed Hafeez scoring 75, accompanied by Ahmed Shehzad’s 42 and Sohaib Maqsood’s 38. However, wickets kept falling, as Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Amit Mishra picked up multiple wickets each.
In the end, Pakistan needed 10 off the last over. Ashwin picked a wicket off the first ball. India needed just one wicket to win, but back-to-back sixes from Shahid Afridi would seal the win for Pakistan, as they won by 1 wicket after 49.4 overs.
India vs Pakistan 2007 (ICC World T-20 Group Stage)
The first-ever edition of the ICC World T-20 is famous for many reasons. One of them being Yuvraj Singh hitting six sixes in an over against England and bringing up his half-century in just 12 balls!
Another one was the thrilling group stage match between India and Pakistan. Batting first, the Indian team struggled at the beginning. Losing early wickets of Gautam Gambhir, Virendra Sehwag, and Yuvraj Singh, as Pakistani bowler Mohammad Asif picked up 4 wickets.
However, Robin Uthappa’s 50 along with knocks of MS Dhoni and Ajit Agarkar helped India put up a somewhat competitive total of 141/9.
The Pakistani batsmen also had a slow start, with very few batsmen having a strike rate of over 100. The match slowly started to turn in favor of India, until Misbah-ul-Haq’s 53 off 35 brought Pakistan back into the game. When the scores were level, Pakistan needed just 1 run off 2 balls, but could not manage to score a single run, and the match was tied.
Back then a super over didn’t exist. The bowl-out method was used to determine a winner when the match was tied, which was the cricket version of a penalty shootout. 5 bowlers from each team bowled towards the stumps. Whichever team was able to hit the wickets the most times successfully, was determined the winner. Ultimately, India won the bowl-out 3-0.
The two teams would rematch in the finals, in yet another close and interesting match where India narrowly defeated Pakistan by 5 runs to become the inaugural ICC World T-20 champions.
As we know, there is much more on the line in an India vs Pakistan match. Hence when the two teams next clash at the ICC World T-20 later this year, we know one thing for sure, this will be a great and tough match for both teams, as both of them will try to put on their best foot forward.