India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday. Even though their opening match in the group stages did not end up to be a thriller, India versus Pakistan matches has over the years had fans from both the countries sitting on the edge of their seats. Cricket fans cannot hide their excitement for the India vs Pakistan Champions Trophy 2017 match. This is arguably the fiercest rivalry in world cricket. There is never a dearth of drama and action when the two neighbours meet. There is so much at stake between the arch-rivals that losing is just not an option for the players from either side.
Even though the head-to-head record in ODI is heavily loaded in Pakistan’s favour as they have won 72 of the 127 matches played between the two nations, the Pakistanis have never been able to beat the Men in Blue in an ICC quadrennial event. As the two nations prepare for the big ticket Champions Trophy clash at The Oval on June 17, 2017, here’s a look back at the classic ODI encounters between the two arch-rivals.
Kapil Dev vs Majid Khan, 1978
It was arguably one of the greatest matches played between India and Pakistan as it turned out to be a seesaw battle between the two teams. During the match, the spat broke out between Kapil Dev and Pakistan batsman Majid Khan after the pacer opted for a negative line. India was needed to defend 125 runs in 25 overs to draw the match and then skipper Bhishan Singh Bedi asked his bowlers to bowl a defensive line. Dev as regular pitched the bowl on the leg side and it made Majid so angry at one point that he pulled out the leg stump and placed it down the leg side to indicate where the Pacers deliveries will reach.
1996 World Cup Quarterfinal
It was a high-voltage encounter between the two neighbours and arch-rivals when they clashed in the quarter-finals of the 1996 World Cup in Bengaluru. Navjot Singh Sidhu’s 93 and Ajay Jadeja’s 45 in 25 balls took India to a competitive 287/8. Pakistan was looked to be cruising towards an easy victory at 113/1 in the 15th over. However, suddenly their stand-in-skipper Aamir Sohail lost his cool and gestured towards bowler Venkatesh Prasad in an abusive manner after hitting him for a boundary. Egged by Sohail’s antics, Prasad staged a brilliant comeback by uprooting Sohail’s stumps on the very next delivery.
Virender Sehwag vs Shoaib Akhtar, 2003
Known as ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib Akhtar kept on bowling bouncers to Virender Sehwag forcing him to play the pull shot, something that Viru was not very much comfortable with. Interestingly, Sehwag then asked Akhtar to bowl the same to Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar which he easily dispatched for a Six. After the six, Sehwag went to Akhtar and said, “Baap baap hota hai aur beta beta hota hai”.
Gautam Gambhir vs Shahid Afridi, 2007
One of the biggest cricket fights during India-Pakistan match. Gautam Gambhir played the ball down the ground and on his way to a single, ran into Shahid Afridi. The collision led to a heated argument where abuses were exchanged, eventually, the umpires had to separate the players. Meanwhile, both the players were fined by the match referee after the incident.
Harbhajan Singh vs Shoaib Akhtar, 2010
Harbhajan Singh went hammer and tongs at the Pakistani pacer Akhtar after he tried to provoke the batsman. India needed 7 runs off seven balls and after finishing his over with a dot ball Akhtar went to tease Harbhajan which led to an ugly fight. The batsman slammed Mohammad Aamir for a six in the last over to lead India to victory.
Rothmans Four-Nations Cup, Match 1, Sharjah (1985)
The match is still considered as one of the finest contests played between India and Pakistan. After Imran Khan shocked the Indian batsmen with his late swing and movement off the pitch, taking 6/14 and dismissing India for a paltry 125, almost everyone inside the Sharjah Cricket Association Ground thought that Pakistan will now romp home easily. But, what happened afterwards was not predicted by anyone even in their wildest of thoughts as India went on to bowl out their opponents for 87 runs to win by 38 runs.