The rivalry between the two neighboring countries extends beyond the sport of cricket. With the ties between the two nations all but wore out, the only platform to witness the tantalizing match-up is the World Cup. This makes it all the more special.
India have always come up with their best against Pakistan in World Cups. The record speaks for itself, the Men In Blue have never tasted defeat in 6 outings against their arch-rivals.
The intense and volatile atmosphere in these matches are often infectious and has given us plenty of moments to savor. Let’s have a look at 5 of the greatest moments.
#5 Sachin’s hoick over third man
In the 2003 World Cup clash between the two sides, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar turned up with one of the greatest knocks of his career. Riding on Saeed Anwar’s ton, Pakistan posted 275 on the board.
The total seemed steeper than usual considering the opposition bowling attack. Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, and Shoaib Akhtar were all raring to go against the famed Indian batting line-up.
The opening duo of Sachin and Sehwag matched fire with fire and got India off to a stellar start. But the defining moment came when Sachin Tendulkar smashed Shoaib Akhtar’s short, wide and pacy delivery over the third man into a sea of Indian supporters, who made their voices heard.
Tendulkar, unfortunately, missed out on a well-deserved ton, but his knock of 98 laid out a perfect platform for Yuvraj and Dravid to seal the match.
#4 Jadeja’s pyrotechnics show
The 1996 World Cup encounter had an added incentive for both the sides, with the clash being a quarter-final. Navjot Singh Sidhu led from the front to get India off to a terrific start in Bangalore.
But the turning point of the game was arguably Ajay Jadeja’s death over antics. Jadeja, who walked in after Mohammad Azharuddin’s dismissal, started from the word go. The left-hander struck 45 off just 25 balls which included four fours and two sixes.
The real statement came in the final over when Waqar Younis, who was essentially the greatest death bowler during that time, was thrashed all over the park. Jadeja scored 23 runs off Younis’ over to raise India’s total to 287/8.
#3 Sachin gets a second life
The 2011 World Cup which was hosted jointly by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh saw 3 Asian countries make it to the semi-finals. The marquee clash, however, was India vs Pakistan at Mohali with a place in the final up for grabs.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India were off to a great start courtesy of the old reliable pair of Sachin and Sehwag. Sachin, was however, adjudged LBW off Saeed Ajwal on 23.
The batsman opted for DRS which showed that the ball was missing the wicket. This proved to be the turning point as Tendulkar went on to make 85 and India reached their 3rd World Cup final.
Although, Saeed Ajmal still disputes this decision as he feels that he had bowled an arm-ball, which the Hawk-Eye had somehow misread.
#2 Miandad brings out his inner Frog
India faced Pakistan in World Cups for the first time in 1992. The clash, which took place at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground, comprised of an epic moment which would be imprinted in everyone’s memory due to its uniqueness.
Chasing 217, Pakistan were struggling and all hopes relied on Javed Miandad, the batsman was getting an earful from Kiran More behind the stumps. Things got so worse that the veteran halted young Tendulkar in his run-up to respond to More’s banter.
Things did not end here, More attempted a run-out the very next delivery and appealed frantically. Miandad responded in a way that only he could, he leaped around the wicket-keeper with the bat in his hands in a bid to mock him.
#1 Tit for Tat
In another instance from the 1996 World Cup quarter-final encounter, Pakistan were in cruise mode chasing 288. Aamir Sohail notched up his half-century with a flamboyant slash through the off-side.
Arrogance, however, got over the left-handed batsman who proceeded to deliver a mouthful to the bowler Venkatesh Prasad and began pointing towards the boundary on the off side.
The very next ball saw Aamir Sohail attempt the same shot, but missed the ball by a mile. The stumps crashed much to the delight of Prasad who proceeded to celebrate wildly along with a few parting words to the departing Sohail.
This turned out to be the difference as Pakistan slid into collapse to book India their semi-final berth.