The last time India and Pakistan were involved in a bilateral series was back in 2012. Since then, political tensions between the nations have forced them to meet only in multi-nation tournaments which are either hosted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) or Asian Cricket Council (ACC). Like now they will on September 18 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in this year's Asia Cup.
The six-team tournament will be held in the 50-over format where Pakistan have held the wood over India. The two sides have faced each other in 129 One-Day Internationals, with Pakistan being victorious 73 times and India 52, while four games have ended without result. The last five encounters though sees India leading with a 3-2 margin. Cricketnext takes a closer look at the recent clashes.
2017 ICC Champions Trophy Final, Oval - Pakistan won by 180 runs
The final of the 2017 Champions Trophy was billed to be a David vs Goliath contest, and for a reason. After all, India had won the previous encounter between the two sides in the group stage rather convincingly and had made it to the final without breaking much sweat. Pakistan, on the other hand, had huffed and puffed their way overcoming more than a couple of scares through the tournament to make it to the title round.
But then, the thing about Pakistan is that they are probably one of the most unpredictable sides in world cricket. On some days they struggle against much lower-ranked oppositions and on some can make some the best sides in the world look pedestrian. June 18, 2017, turned out to be the latter.
Riding on a 106-ball 114 from Fakhar Zaman, his maiden ton, along with useful contributions by Azhar Ali (59) and Mohammad Hafeez (57), Pakistan posted a mammoth 338 for 4 in their 50 overs. Mohammad Amir then broke India's back claiming the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan in a breathtaking opening spell to reduce India to 33 for 3. That became 72 for 6 in no time, the Indians not knowing what hit them.
Hardik Pandya tried his best to get his side closer slamming 76 in just 43 balls but was left all alone as Pakistan bundled the much-favoured India out for just 158 in 30.3 overs to be crowned champions.
2017 ICC Champions Trophy, Birmingham - India won by 124 runs (DLS method)
India came into the 2017 Champions Trophy as favourites to defend their title and started off their campaign in emphatic fashion. India, sent in to bat, made full use of the good batting conditions to post 319 for 3 with rain reducing the game to 48-overs-a-side. Sharma (91), Dhawan (68), Kohli (81) and Yuvraj (53) all scored fine half-centuries getting India over the 300-mark.
Persistent rain further brought down Pakistan's target to 289 in 41 overs and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav's fine opening burst ensured Pakistan came nowhere close to the revised target. Yadav picked up 3 for 30 in 7.4 overs while Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with two wickets each to help India bowl out their arch-rivals for a meagre 164 in 33.3 overs. Only Azhar Ali could manage a half-century which ultimately proved insufficient.
India's 124-run victory in the opening game ensured they set the tournament alight, nice and early.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Adelaide - India won by 76 runs
Adelaide was coloured in an equal mixture of blue and green with fans from both countries turning up in large numbers, a whole 41, 587 of them. Pakistan had never defeated India in a World Cup match, and there was no change in that record by the end of the day.
Kohli scored a majestic century and backed up by solid 70s from Dhawan and Raina, helped India post a formidable 300 for 7, despite Sohail Khan's five-wicket burst.
To chase a total of that magnitude down on the biggest stage of it all, required a solid start from Pakistan. That never happened with Yadav accounting for the experienced Younis Khan early. Ahmed Shehzad's 47 took 73 deliveries and once Shoaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal departed for a duck each, Pakistan's chances became slimmer.
Misbah-ul-Haq, like he so often did, stood like a rock at one end scoring a brisk 76 but found no support from the other end. Mohammed Shami starred with the ball picking up 4 for 35 in nine overs. Pakistan eventually folded for 224 falling short for the sixth time out of six games against India in World Cups.
2015 Asia Cup, Dhaka - Pakistan won by 1 wicket
This game was one for the ages. A nail-biting India vs Pakistan affair, Shahid Afridi in his elements, a last-wicket finish - Dhaka fans got every penny of their tickets worth. Afridi's stupendous 18-ball 34* helped Pakistan chase down India's 246-run target with just two balls to spare.
Having elected to field, the Pakistan bowlers on a benign surface bowled excellently to restrict India to 245 for 8. Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Jadeja, all cracked fifties but anything under 250 was always going to be a gettable target in the second innings.
Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad got Pakistan off to a good start adding 71 for the first wicket. Mohammad Hafeez then carried on the good work with a classy 75 and at 200 for 4 Pakistan looked set for a comfortable win. However, they lost wickets in quick succession and the equation, in the end, came down to 9 to win off 4 balls with Afridi facing Ashwin. The big-hitter though wasted no more time and slammed the next two deliveries over the long on fence to complete a famous Pakistan victory.
2013 Champions Trophy - India won by 8 wickets (DLS method)
Birmingham yet again played centre-stage to an India-Pakistan encounter with rain gods making their presence felt once more. The game was shortened to 40-overs-a-side and the Indian bowlers made full use of the overhead conditions upfront to bowl Pakistan out for 165 in 39.4 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung the ball early returning figures of 8-2-19-2 while Ashwin and Jadeja got sufficient turn from the surface with Pakistan having no answers.
More rain meant India's revised target was 102 in 22 overs and they hardly broke a sweat in chasing it down with Dhawan's 48 taking them home in 19.1 overs.
Asia Cup 2018Azhar AliBhuvneshwar KumarFakhar ZamanIndiaMohammad AmirpakistanRavindra Jadejarohit sharmaShahid Afridishikhar dhawanUmesh Yadavvirat kohli
First Published: September 19, 2018, 8:18 AM IST