India-Pak rivalry: Can men in blue maintain their edge?

India-Pak rivalry: Can men in blue maintain their edge?

Venkatesh Prasad exults after dismissing Aamer Sohail in the 1996 World Cup in Bengaluru.

What's a World Cup without an India-Pakistan clash? The clash of the arch-rivals have always been one of the most anticipated games at the showpiece event ever since they met in the 1992 edition in Australia. Expectedly, the Old Trafford ground at Manchester will be packed on June 16, with tickets for the marquee clash sold out months before.

Given the political scenario of the two nations, the expectations among fans from either side of the border have further soared. India, with a staggering 6-0 record, have a psychological advantage. Virat Kohli's men have a score to settle too, having lost the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan in 2017. Both sides have lived up to the hype, offering some classic games. DH takes a look at these previous Indo-Pak clashes at the quadrennial event: 


1992: March 4

Venue: Sydney 

Playing in his first World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar couldn’t have chosen a better game to pick his first ever man-of-the-match award at the quadrennial event. The Litte Master’s unbeaten 54 was the foundation for India’s respectable total of 216/7. Tendulkar impressed against the feared Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Aaqib Javed before Indian pace trio of Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhakar and Javagal Srinath rattled the Pakistan batting. Javed Miandad’s monkey-jumping act of mocking Kiran More behind the wicket was the most memorable piece of Pak’s defeat.      

Brief scores: India: 216/7 in 50 overs (Ajay Jadeja 46, Mohammed Azharuddin 32, Sachin Tendulkar 54, Kapil Dev 35; Aaqib Javed 2-28, Mushtaq Ahmed 3-59) bt Pakistan: 173 all out in 48.1 overs (Aamer Sohail 62, Javed Miandad 40; Kapil Dev 2-30, Manoj Prabhakar 2-22, Javagal Srinath 2-37). 



1996: March 9

Venue: Bengaluru

This one of the most memorable of Indo- Pak rivalry. The Aamer Sohail-Venkatesh Prasad face-off left the packed Chinnaswamy stadium thrilled in a humdinger of a contest. Opener Aamer Sohail (55) was leading Pakistan’s chase of 288 with a controlled innings till Prasad stopped him. Sohail slashed one off the pacer for a four and signalled with his bat to the fence, trying to say ‘go fetch that’. Prasad offered a fitting reply, rattling Sohail’s stumps the very next ball. The Indian didn’t hold back in giving send-off, a moment that has gained a cult status today. The match belonged to Ajay Jadeja as well, who went berserk with a 25-ball 45, giving Waqar Younis the beating of his life.  

Brief scores: India: 287/8 in 50 overs (Navjot Singh Sidhu 93, Ajay Jadeja 45, Sachin Tendulkar 31; Waqar Younis 2-67, Mushtaq Ahmed 2-56) bt Pakistan: 248/9 in 49 overs (Aamer Sohail 55, Saeed Anwar 48, Saleem Malik 38, Javed Miandad 38; Venkatesh Prasad 3-45, Anil Kumble 3-48). 



1999: June 8

Venue: Manchester  

Venkatesh Prasad was once again in the thick of the action when both sides met at a Super Six game. India had laboured their way to a modest 227/6 in 50 overs with half-centuries from Mohammed Azharuddin and Rahul Dravid. Prasad was brilliant on the day, removing big guns like Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq en route a five-wicket haul.  

Brief scores: India: 227/6 in 50 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 45, Rahul Dravid 61, Mohammed Azharuddin 59; Wasim Akram 2-27, Azhar Mahmood 2-35) bt Pakistan: 180 all out in 45.3 overs (Saeed Anwar 36, Inzamam Ul Haq 41, Moin Khan 34; Javagal Srinath 3-37, Venkatesh Prasad 5-27). 


2003: March 1  

Venue: Centurion 

Emotions, as expected, ran high ahead of this game. Shoaib Akhtar had sent a warning, saying he will help Pakistan break the jinx against India at World Cup. Saeed Anwar’s century left the Pakistani supporters hopeful. But Centurion was awaiting a storm named Sachin Tendulkar that evening. The veteran slammed an entertaining 98 off just 75 balls, with the cracking cut over third-man off Shoaib Akhtar etched in the memories of all cricket lovers. His knock took the wind of Pak sails before Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh finished off the chase.   

Brief scores: Pakistan: 273/7 in 50 overs (Saeed Anwar 101, Mohammed Yusuf 25, Younis Khan 32; Zaheer Khan 2-46, Ashish Nehra 2-74) lt to India: 276/4 in 45.4 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 98, Mohammed Kaif 35, Rahul Dravid 44 not out, Yuvraj Singh 50 not out; Waqar Younis 2-71).   


2011: March 30 

Venue: Chandigarh 

It was a semifinal and one expected a high-voltage contest. But the game was a damp squib. Pakistan paid the price of offering Sachin Tendulkar four reprieves. The veteran slammed a scratchy 85. In a big game, the in-form Umar Gul had an off-day and was hammered for 21 in an over by Virender Sehwag, making it the only absorbing portion of the game. Suresh Raina made a handy unbeaten 36 for India to reach 260. Indian bowlers produced a disciplined show to book a final berth. 

Brief scores: India: 260/9 in 50 overs (Virender Sehwag 38, Sachin Tendulkar 85, Gautam Gambhir 27, MS Dhoni 25, Suresh Raina 36 not out; Wahab Riaz 5-46, Saeed Ajmal 2-44) bt Pakistan: 231 all out in 49.5 overs (Mohammed Hafeez 43, Asad Shafiq 30, Misbah-ul-Haq 56, Umar Akmal 29; Zaheer Khan 2-58, Ashish Nehra 2-33, Munaf Patel 2-40, Harbhajan Singh 2-43, Yuvraj Singh 2-57).          


2015: February 15 

Venue: Adelaide

In was the only one-sided affair between the two in a World Cup. A Virat Kohli special saw India register a 76-run victory. Kohli’s 107 was a knock marked by class and composure. Pakistan batting once again depended on Misbah-ul-Haq and failed to knock down 301 runs in a match where thousands of Indian fans painted the town blue. 

Brief scores: India: 300/7 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 107, Suresh Raina 74, Shikhar Dhawan 73; Sohail Khan 5-55) bt Pakistan: 224 all out in 47 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 47, Haris Sohail 36, Misbah-ul-Haq 76; Umesh Yadav 2-50, Mohammed Shami 4-35, Mohit Sharma 2-35).

DH News Service