India and Pakistan – two distinct yet similar nations, two rival neighbors yet having the same interests. There is nothing that comes close to India and Pakistan rivalry on the cricket field.
When both the teams are playing with one another in any of the sports it is bound to get maximum interest and viewership in both the countries and especially when the game is Gentlemen’s Sports – Cricket. Cricket match between India and Pakistan is considered as the battle of battles, the most intensified sports rivalries in the world and neither Indians nor Pakistanis like to lose. More then the pride of the players, it’s the pride of the nation that is at stake. The frenzy is such that not just the players are under pressure but the fans are too. But what makes India vs Pakistan Cricket rivalry worth watching?
Cricket is the most popular game in both countries. Despite sharing the same cricketing heritage, both the nations are staunch rivals. Both India and Pakistan are counted as heavyweights in the cricketing world as both have won world events quite regularly. There have been countless instances of people getting violent, damaging properties, thrashing Television sets, posting hatred on social media and despite the teams, coaches and players themselves appealing to people that this is just a game, in reality, everybody knows that it is not true. It’s more than a game. It’s the ultimate battle of supremacy. It’s the marquee sporting event.
India vs Pakistan Cricket Match is More Than a Game
There have been many instances when a top team didn’t perform well in the tournament. But the teams and fans will have a sense of victory as soon as they win against the old rival. The Indian Cricket team did not perform well in Cricket World Cup 1992 and Cricket World Cup 1999 but it did beat Pakistan in those two world cups. Many cricketers and viewers will rate India vs Pakistan match in World Cup 2003 as one of the best world cup matches. The happiness when India beats Pakistan is much more than when Australia beats England.
There will always be a political angle to India and Pakistan match or game. Whenever two countries have some political misunderstanding it always takes a toll on the India – Pakistan match. There were times when India Pakistan matches have been abandoned due to political turmoils. This has lead to very few games between India and Pakistan. Hence there is always a high tension when these two nations are playing and especially during World Cup matches. The ICC has always milked this opportunity and this is the main reason why India and Pakistan always end up in the same group in most of the major global events. Here is the example when both the teams were in the same group:
1) World Cups – 2003, 2015
2) Champions Trophy – 2009, 2013, 2017
3) World T20 – 2007, 2012, 2014, 2016
The Limited Overs Rivalry
India’s track record hasn’t been very impressive in the ODIs as compared to Pakistan’s. Pakistan has won almost 35% more matches than India against each other. ODIs were very popular in the 80s and 90s. There were times when bi-lateral series between the two sides could not be played in either of the countries due to political inconsistency and hence both the cricket boards chose a neutral venue, UAE. These Sharjah tournaments were held very frequently and usually involved a third or fourth team to make a proper tournament out of it.
India Pakistan Cricket Match Rivalry in ICC and Asia Cup events
The Indian team dominates the statistics here. The likes of Dhoni, Kohli, Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are the architects of India’s recent success against Pakistan. As far as T20s are concerned – again India dominates the stats having suffered only 1 loss. The most famous T20 games between the two teams came about in the 2007 inaugural World T20 Cup.
The rivalry has recently lost some of its sting given the fact that the Indian players, much like the country’s economic superiority, have been superior on the field as well. Due to reasons beyond control, Pakistan is unable to play ‘home’ matches at home starving it of the much needed fanatical home base support. It is also unable to host India thus being deprived of a vital source of income such a series could generate. Their board recently tried to sue the Indian Cricket Board (unsuccessfully) for compensation because India refused to play them. But don’t let that fool you, wait till the World Cup in England on 16 June 2019, where these two teams will clash with each other.
The bilateral cricket series between the 2 nations seems unlikely to resume soon, behold the frenzy till the ICC World Cup’s league match between the subcontinental rivals! So there you have it, cricket’s most hotly contested, followed and vibrant rivalry. The rivalry between these two teams has sometimes got out of hand – Indian players were pelted with stones in Karachi in 1997, while confusion over the legitimacy of Sachin’s run out in Kolkata in 1999 caused a commotion leading to fans being evicted from the stadium and the match completed before an empty stadium.
When India plays Pakistan, get ready for something special. Watch our special video on Who Will Win World Cup’19.