Age old arch-rivals India and Pakistan will lock horns against each other in the opening encounter of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the iconic Melbourne cricket ground on October 23.
Cricket buffs across the globe are pretty much excited for the high-octane clash as both the teams will look to get their campaign on a high, in their quest for T20 World Cup glory.
India and Pakistan have battled against each other a total of six times in the history of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with India winning five of those encounters. Over the years, both the teams have produced some high-voltage clashes at the world stage, with the Men in Blue holding an edge.
But Babar Azam’s Men in Green bounced back brilliantly in the last edition of the mega event. They produced a high-clash performance in Dubai to clinch their maiden victory against Team India in the World Cup. The Rohit Sharma led team will now be keen to hit back and assert their dominance again against the arch-rivals in the World Cup.
As the world waits with bated breath and Melbourne gets ready to host the high-octane clash, here is a brief low-down on each of those games and how both the sides fared in those contests.
The first-ever tie between the arch-rivals in T20 World Cup history during the inaugural edition of the tournament turned out to be an intense battle as the match went right down to the wire. Riding on Robin Uthappa’s half-century, India scored a total of 141/9 in the stipulated 20 overs.
In reply, the Indian bowlers bowled well to pick up early wickets. Despite Misbah-ul-Haq’s fifty, the Men in Blue held their nerves and the match ended in a tie. But India won the match eventually in bowl-out.
India and Pakistan took on each other in the summit clash of the same edition again and it turned out to be quite a spectacle. Gautam Gambhir (75) helped India post a challenging target of 158.
In reply, Imran Nazir got Pakistan off to a flying start. But the fall of wickets at regular intervals didn’t help Pakistan’s cause. Misbah-ul-Haq barely kept them afloat in the contest taking the match down to the last over. With Pakistan needing 13 runs to win and India needing a wicket, the pressure was on India when he hit Joginder Sharma for a six off the second delivery of the last over. But he miscued a scoop off the very next delivery to hand over an easy catch to Sreesanth at Short fine-leg. India emerged as the champions of the inaugural T20 World Cup.
It turned out to be a lop-sided encounter as India and Pakistan met in the group stages of the 2012 edition. Pakistan were bundled out for a paltry total of 128, with Lakshmipathy Balaji (3/22) turning out to be the best bowler for India. The Men in Blue romped home easily and won the match by eight wickets.
The contest between the arch-rivals during the group stages of 2014 edition was a lop-sided affair once again. India restricted Pakistan to a paltry total of 130/7 with Amit Mishra (2/22) turning out to be the wrecker-in-chief. India chased down the target easily and won the match by seven wickets.
India emerged victorious once again in this rain-curtailed game of 18 overs per side. Pakistan could muster a total of 118/5 against some tight bowling by Indian bowlers. In reply, India lost quick wickets. But Virat Kohli (55, 37b) rose to the occasion again to take India home with six wickets and 13 balls remaining.
The Men in Green finally broke their loosing jinx against India in the T20 World Cup against India as they registered a comprehensive 10-wicket victory against their arch-rivals during their group-stage encounter in Dubai. With the help of Virat Kohli’s fifty and Rishabh Pant’s cameo, India had managed a total of 151/7.