India will be meeting Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2011 semi-finals at Mohali. Ahead of that epic encoounter, let’s revisit great Indian moments in Indo-Pak ties.
In 1984, the Indian team led by Kapil Dev was bowled out for 125 in Sharjah. In the dressing room, Kapil asked his bowlers to just go and make things difficult for Pakistan, since they had nothing to lose. In reply, India bowled out Imran Khan's Pakistan team for a paltry 87. Catches win matches, and it was a cliche come true at Sharjah. This was one of those rare matches in the sub-continent a low-scoring game that was a thriller all the way. With Imran Khan firing on all cylinders, India were shot out for a miserable 125 and it seemed all over bar the shouting. It was India's fielding that won the day and leading the way was veteran opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar. Pakistan were all out for 87. Gavaskar's four brilliant catches at slip would stand as a world record till it was broken by Jonty Rhodes in 1993.
In 1992 World Cup Kiran More, the Indian wicket-keeper harassed Miandad from behind the wickets by chatting constantly. Miandad got angry because of this constant chat and jumped in air 3 times just to tease Kiran More.Although India went onto win that game but that incident is still fresh in the memories of the cricket lovers who watched that game.
During 1996 World Cup Quarter Final, in Bangalore, Aamir Sohail smashed a delivery from Indian seamer Venkatesh Prasad through the covers for a four. After this, he pointed his bat towards the Prasad and boundary where the ball had gone. In the very next delivery, Prasad bowled out Sohail and pointed his finger towards the pavilion.
In the same match, Ajay Jadeja had hit Waqar Younis for 18 and 22 in 48th and 50th over. Though numerically insignificant, Ajay Jadeja smashing 45 swung the match away from Pak in this tension-packed knockout match. Coming in for the slog, Jadeja was particularly severe on Waqar whose first eight overs had cost 47 runs. The next two went for 18 and 22 with Jadeja smashing four 4s and two 6s off a mere 26 balls. That took India to a formidable 287 for 8 which proved too much for Pakistan.
In Sahara Friendship series, Toronto, 1997 Sourav Ganguly dominated a series with both bat and ball like no cricketer has before or since. He almost single-handedly guided India to a 4-1 rout of Pakistan. A total of 222 runs, 15 wickets and three catches in the six games (the third was abandoned after 31.5 overs) was a dazzling performance and earned Ganguly the Man of the Series award. Ganguly started quietly with two wickets and 17 runs in the first game. In the second he again took two wickets and scored 32. He took two of three wickets to fall in the washed out third game and then routed Pakistan in the fourth with figures of 5 for 16 to make it three wins in a row. The fifth saw him shine with the bat 75 not out plus two wickets and then in the sixth and final the only defeat for India-he top scored with 96 and picked up another two wickets. It was virtually Ganguly vs Pakistan.
In the final of the Independence Cup at the national stadium Dhaka, India pulled off a sensational three-wicket win with one ball to spare against Pakistan when Hrishikesh Kanitkar's hit Saqlain Mushtaq for a crucial boundary off the second-last ball of the match in India's memorable victory over Pakistan. In this match Sourav Ganguly played a wonderful knock of 124, and this was the India's first such a big chase. Sourav was adjudged man of the match for the breath-taking knock that he played.
It was a golden moment when Anil Kumble took 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan to become one of the two bowlers in Test cricket history to achieve the feat. On 8 February 1999, History was created at the Feorzeshah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi when One of India's Greatest Spinners Anil Kumble became only the Second Bowler ever (the other being Jim Laker(England)) to have taken all 10 wickets in a Test innings. Anil Kumble achieved this feat against Pakistan in the second Test played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi and leading India to Victory by very huge margin of 212 runs.
In a group game of the 2003 Cricket World Cup, at Centurion, India were chasing 273 against a legendary Pakistani attack (Wasim, Waqar, Akhtar, Razzaq, Afridi) on a lively pitch. In response,Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag got of to a stunning flyer scoring 53 in 5 overs by demoralizing Pakistan's bowlers hitting heavily with sixes and fours to Shoaib Akhtar. India eventually won the game with 4 overs to spare. Thus, India maintained always a "winning consistency" or "never loose" against Pakistan in world cup cricket history. Sachin Tendulkar scored 98 in that Centurion, World Cup, 2003 match.
India won a stunning game in a thrilling finish- 1st ODI Karachi 2004 India tour of Pakistan, as Pakistan failed to hit the nine runs needed off the final over. Ashish Nehra held his nerve brilliantly, conceding just three runs and ending with the wicket of Moin Khan needing a six off the very last ball to win the match.
Sachin Tendulkar scored 141 in Rawalpindi, 2004. It was the first ODI century on Pakistan soil by an Indian batsman in 26 years of trying. But just as his fantastic 123 failed to prevent victory for Pakistan in the fourth ODI at Ahmedabad the other day, it was a similar story a year back at Rawalpindi. Having narrowly won the first match at Karachi after topping 300, it was now the turn of India to fail in the chase while going after Pakistan's 329 for 6. It was Tendulkar's highest ODI score against Pakistan at more than a run a ball and was full of glorious shots which brought him 17 fours and a six. India fell short by 12 runs but the Man of the Match award went to Tendulkar. It was his 37th ODI hundred and during the innings he crossed 13,000 runs.
Virender Sehwag's blazing knock of 309 (375 balls, 531 minutes, 39 fours, 6 sixes) had come against Pakistan in 1st Test match-India's tour of Pakistan-2004 played at Multan Cricket Stadium, Pakistan. Virender Sehwag became the first Indian to hit a Test triple century. This test match was memorable because India clinched an historic win i.e India's first-ever Test victory in Pakistan. At the stroke of 1 Six, Sehwag launched Saqlain Mushtaq into the stands over midwicket to become the first Indian to reach 300 in style with a fearless six. In this match Anil Kumble (6/30 in the second innings) and Sachin Tendulkar (194 not out in the first inning) played sterling roles in the win.
India's 2004 tour to Pakistan was a huge success, with both Test and one-day series victories. For the first time ever India won a series in Pakistan. India won the Test series by 2-1 and ODI series by 3-2 in Pakistan in the tour. The Indian cricket team went for a complete tour to Pakistan after a long gap of 15 years in 2004 and hence, the tour was considered as historical even before it started. And it ended in India`s First Test Series Win in Pakistan, 2004 with the powerful performance of complete Indian team specially Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and the strong emergence of Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan, Lakshmipathy Balaji.
At the Vishakhapatnam Ground in 2005, Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrated his maiden ODI century against Pakistan with a cracking 148, the highest score by an Indian against Pakistan, off just 123 balls, with 15 bounadries and four sixes, batting at number three, Dhoni hit a breezy ton of 148 as India posted their highest total against Pakistan i.e. 356 for 9. Thus Dhoni arrived to international cricket by this marvellous inning and he was always remembered for this killing innings that destroyed Pakistan bowling attack completely. There were two magic moments in course of Dhoni's innings, and neither had anything to do with the free-flowing player's shot-making. The first was when he completed his century; the second, when he was finally out. On both occasions, the cameras panned to the team dressing room -- and there, up on his feet, a smile as wide as all outdoors, stood Virender Sehwag, furiously applauding. Virender Sehwag clapped right through as Dhoni walked into the pavilion. And as the young wicket-keeper walked up to him, Viru grabbed his hand and slapped him on the back, his smile getting even wider. The signal was clear: Sehwag, who increasingly has become the go-to guy every time India needs quick runs, was recognizing the emergence of a kindred spirit, a young lad without a shadow of fear in his heart or doubt in his mind.
India won the 5 match ODI series 4–1 in India's 2005 tour to Pakistan in which Indian batsmen demonstrated a pressure handling run chase through out the series by Yuvraj Singh (who scored 344 runs in 5 matches) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni(who scored 219 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 137). Dhoni's performance in that tour of Pakistan propelled him to number three in ICC 2005 ranking among ODI batsmen.
Irfan Pathan claimed a first over hat-trick against Pakistan, becoming the second person , after Nuwan Zoysa, to achieve this feat in a test match in the first over. In a sensational start to the third Test of India's tour to Pakistan Jan 2006 played at National Stadium Karachi, Irfan Pathan took the wickets of Pakistan's top order batsmen - Salman Butt (caught by Rahul Dravid at slip), Younis Khan (LBW) and Mohammand Yousuf (bowled) of the last three deliveries of the first over. This feat made Pathan the second Indian to achieve a test hat trick (the other being Harbhajan Singh).
The First T20 World cup was played in South Africa, 2007 and the First T20 match between India & Pakistan ended in Tie and then the bowl-out took place, India won the bowl-out by 3-0. Twenty20 doesn’t allow a result to end in a tie and now it was time for the ‘Bowl Out’ as scores are levelled. Each team has to nominate five bowlers to bowl a ball each with both sides alternating. The team that hits the stumps most times would be the winners with overstepping the crease not counted. Shoaib Malik won the toss and he asked India to have first go. The crowd didn’t leave the stadium at all, they were praying for their respective teams to prevail in this unique contest on a cricket ground. India’s five bowlers were Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan while Pakistan’s were Asif, Umar Gul, Afridi, Arafat and Tanvir. Sehwag started the Bowl Out and bang he was on the target and in response Yasir Arafat nervously bowled it oustide the offstump! Next Harbhajan bowled an off break that went straight onto the stumps and in reply, Umar Gul bowled with cross seam which nicely swung away outside the offstump. Pakistan under all sorts of pressure, they now needed to fire in three out of three to just tie the Bowl Out and start it all over. Robin Uthappa came in next, hit the stumps and took a bow. His competitor Shahid Afridi drifted his leg break down the legstump leaving India victorious with a score of 3-0.
In the grand final of ICC T20 world cup 2007 between IND vs PAK, that held in South Africa, both the teams reached the finals and Pakistan needed 6 runs in 4 balls with 1 wicket remaining, Misbah Ul-Haq batting on 53 was on strike and got out to Joginder Sharma on the 4th ball and India won the match by 5 runs. India triumphed emphatically in the inaugural edition of the World Cup T20. This was also a golden moment for Indian Cricket team because India under captaincy of M.S.Dhoni beat their arch-rival Pakistan in the World Twenty20 final by five runs to clinch their first major trophy since 1983 World Cup.
In Asia Cup 2008, Karachi Sehwag's 119 and Raina's 84 seal thumping win against Pakistan. The 198-run stand between Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina shut Pakistan out of the game. India 301 for 4 (Sehwag 119, Raina 84) beat Pakistan 299 for 4 (Malik 125 retd, Younis 59) by six wickets. Raina did most of the early scoring with free-flowing cover drives when offered width outside off stump by Sohail Tanvir and Anjum. Raina scored his maiden hundred against Hong Kong during the first match of 2008 Asia Cup played in Pakistan. Bristling with confidence after his century against Hong Kong, He scored 84 of 69 against Pakistan and 116 of 107 against Bangladesh, in next two matches. Hence, Raina won man of the match award successively for three times in that 2008 Asia Cup played in Pakistan. This led to the emergence of Suresh Raina. Since then, Raina has been a member of India's full-strength ODI and T20 team.
India and Pakistan's eagerly anticipated clash at The Oval in a warm up match of second ICC T20 World Cup June, 2009 had been designated as a "Catch the Spirit" match by the ICC, a fundraiser to help support families of the victims of the attack on the Sri Lanka team and officials in Lahore in March. India thrashed Pakistan in that T20 warm-up match making it a one-sided Twenty20 game.Rohit Sharma with a 80-run blitzkrieg and Gautam Gambhir 52 not out continued to give India a combination dilemma and made the chase seem like an afternoon walk in a London park. Rohit Sharma tore apart Pakistan's bowling attack as India bulldozed their arch-rivals by nine wickets with three overs to spare in their final warm-up match of the ICC World Twenty20 on Wednesday night.
In response to the Sharma-Miandad classic, in the 4th game of the Asia Cup 2010, India were chasing 268 to win against Pakistan. With 9 needed off the last over, Harbhajan Singh hit a six in the penultimate ball sealing the victory for India, followed by a loud roar towards Shoaib Akhtar. That reaction was sparked by an altercation with Akhtar in the previous over. In response, Akhtar hand-gestured Singh with a 'V' sign.