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India vs Pakistan: A rivalry like no other

Pakistan's Mohammad Amir and Sarfaraz Ahmed celebrate the wicket of India's Virat Kohli
©Reuters
 

There is no clash in cricket with more context than the Ashes, say the cricket tragics. However, a big section of the followers of the game, especially from Asia and the subcontinent like to differ.

 

For them, the intensity with which the emotions run high during an India-Pakistan match is unparalleled. There was always an edge to the matches between the two nations ever since their partition in 1947, but the rivalry only gained pace in the modern era.

The existing political equation between the two countries is not desirable at all, but it does have an impact in building up the drama when the two teams gear up to take on each other.

Then, there is the rivalry in World Cups where Pakistan has never been able to get the better of India.

However, as far as the head to head record between the two teams in ODIs is concerned, Pakistan actually have far better numbers. The record is more a reflection of Pakistan's glorious past than their current state as India have become the better team of the two, at least on paper in recent times.

 

With cricket lovers starving for live action amid the Covid-19 induced lockdown across the word, Cricket World, in association with aLeadingEdge and Pitch Vision, bring you a virtual Cricket World IndoPak Cup. The first match of the unofficial series will be played on Tuesday, 2nd June at the National Stadium in Karachi while the second match will be played on 4th June at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

It is hardly a surprise that Pakistan have been dominant in their home matches with 14 victories as opposed to India's 11 out of the 27 ODIs between the two teams. They will therefore have the advantage with the opening match in Karachi. In the matches played in India as well, Pakistan have won 19 as compared to India's 11 out of 30 games.

In total, Pakistan have won 73 ODIs while India have won 55, with four encounters between the two sides ending without a result. These numbers though will not stand for much when both teams lock horns against each other.

While India are known for their consistency and have been producing good performances one after the other lately, you can never discount Pakistan with their mercurial nature. If someone has doubts, revisit the 2017 Champions Trophy final where the Men in Green literally obliterated their neighbours.

Get ready then, to see equisite cover drives of Babar Azam and Virat Kohli and the silken touches of Rohit Sharma and Imam-ul-Haq. There will obviously be debates about who is the better of the two, who has more time on his hands or who is more pleasing on the eye, but opinions remain subjective as always. 

Likewise, with the ball in hand, while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will be in charge of the Indian pace battery, Shaheen Shah Afridi will be a force to reckon with for India. Just like the cover drives of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are comparable, the smiling assassins in Shaheen Shah Afridi and Jasprit Bumrah will ensure that life is not easy for the batsmen.

Picture Babar Azam and Virat Kohli walking out for the toss with thousands of spectators cheering in the gallery. Mouth-watering! It might take a few months for this to actually happen in the post Covid-19 world but in our virtual arena, nothing is impossible.

With both matches to be played live and covered ball by ball online, the true fans might find it tough to keep hold of their excitement. But, hold tight, this will be worth it.

 

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