India vs Pakistan is the biggest rivalry in cricket. There has been bad blood between England and Australia for over a century, the West Indies were the thorn in the flesh for England and Australia for long in the 70s and 80s, and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh can’t stand a defeat against each other, but these rivalries look pale in comparison to the on-field rivalry between the Men in Blue and Green.
Largely because of the political tension between the neighbouring countries.
The newest chapter of the storied rivalry will take place on Saturday (14 October) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and India will enter the World Cup match as the favourites, given their 7-0 record against their arch-rivals in the ODI extravaganza.
Also, India have won four out of the last five ODIs against Pakistan with their last defeat coming in 2017.
But India have not always been this dominant in the rivalry as far as ODIs are concerned. In fact, Pakistan have a massive edge against India in the head-to-head record, with the Men in Green winning 73 out of 134 matches. India have 56 wins to their name and five matches ended in no result.
The first ODI between the two sides was played in Quetta on 1 October 1978 which India won by four runs. Mohinder Amarnath made a match-winning 51 as India scored 170/7. Pakistan were restricted on 166/8 with Majid Khan making 50. Pakistan, however, went on to win the next two ODIs in the series which was the end of 50-over assignments between the two sides in the 70s.
Later it was in the 80s that both teams started playing ODI cricket regularly as 50-over matches became the new norm.
Pakistan dominated the 80s and 90s
A whopping 20 ODIs were won by Pakistan against India in the 80s, from 1982-1990, out of 31 games. This also included the famous Austral-Asia Cup final in 1986 in which Javed Miandad smashed Chetan Sharma for a last-ball six in a memorable one-wicket win. The dominance of Pakistan since then made it look like it was if the Miandad six scarred India.
Javed Miandad’s last-ball six remained an inspiration for Pakistan’s side for a long time. Image: ICC
Head-to-head stats in the 80s
Pakistan won: 20
India won: 9
The trend stayed the same in the 90s. India defeated Pakistan in all World Cup matches (1992, 1996 and 1999) but faced defeats otherwise. It was another decade of domination over India in ODIs for Pakistan who comprised of superstars like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar.
Head-to-head stats in the 90s
Pakistan won: 30
India won: 19
India turn a page with the turn of the century
While Pakistan had the wood over India in ODIs, the equation started to change with the turn of the century. As new players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, and Zaheer Khan entered the national team, India started becoming more competitive. It was as if the young generation in India was not impacted by that Miandad six and were ready to move on.
India have had an upper hand against Pakistan since 2001. AP
The 2000s was also the era when ‘cricket diplomacy’ became a big thing with India and Pakistan touring each other regularly before it all came to an abrupt end after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Head-to-head stats in the 2000s
Pakistan won: 17
India won: 17
India’s domination continues
With India and Pakistan now playing against each other only in ICC and Asia Cup events, only 15 ODIs have taken place between the two sides since 2011. India have won a mind-boggling 10 out of them with Pakistan clinching just four victories.
Head-to-head stats since 2011
Pakistan won: 4
India won: 14
On Saturday, India will look to make it their 15th win against Pakistan since 2011 and their eighth in the ODI World Cups.