The Infamous Rivalry Between India and Pakistan cricket teams

Love cricket? You will definitely enjoy reading this comprehensive history of India Pakistan cricket rivalry.

India and Pakistan have been involved in an intense rivalry for years, and it is carried out with the players during a game of cricket. The sport is highly popular in both countries in which the two share a similar heritage.

The world is highly aware of the conflict between the two nations and everyone is here for it. Recently, in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, the match between India and Pakistan received a high demand from cricket fans from all over the world. The resell of the tickets reached an amount of $6,000 USD, a week prior to the event itself.

In fact, the television broadcast of their match reached over a billion audience who were ecstatic to see how the game will turn out. The World Cup was held at Manchester's Old Trafford in England. India won against their opponent by 89 runs.

The stadium had a 26,000 seating capacity and sold out within 48 hours of the release, months before. There were over 500,000 requests from fans to get tickets to the match. Around two-thirds of the tickets were allotted to the Indian cricket fans, and the rest were bought by Pakistan fans.

There is such a thing as cricket diplomacy. It is the use of cricket as a tool for political concerns, which either make improvements or worsen the relationship between the two nations. The sport is very popular and influential in both countries, which is why it is not a surprise that cricket is being used as a way to bridge gaps.

This article will focus on the discussion of the rivalry, the history and previous matches between the two countries.

india cricket match

History of the India-Pakistan Sports Rivalry

The infamous conflict between India and Pakistan is regarded as the greatest and most extreme sports rivalry in the world. The rivalry between the two emerged because of the Partition of British India in 1947 which divided India and Pakistan and resulted in the beginning of a bitter relationship.

Moreover, wars such as the Indo-Pakistani and the Kashmir conflict also added to the development of the sporting rivalry between the two nations who have a common cricket heritage. The rivalry is not only present in cricket, it is also present in other sports such as association football and field hockey.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why the rivalry is more prominent in cricket is due to the similar heritage of the sport in the two countries. Cricket developed in these nations due to the British colonial rule.

Cricket came from England and was spread through their colonisation of other countries. On top of that, the sport became very popular and immersed in the culture and life of the two countries.

There were a number of cricket matches from both sides that were cancelled due to political reasons. There were no matches played between India and Pakistan from 1962 to 1978 due to the occurrence of wars. The conflict in 1965 resulted in a Pakistani aggression which worsened the already tainted relationship.

On top of that, in 1999, there was a Kargil War and in 2008, Mumbai terrorist attacks which also paused the cricket ties between India and Pakistan. The chaos present in the two countries urged to halt further matches until there is more stability.

As a temporary solution to successfully organise a match between the two, games were held in neutral venues to prevent chaos. Some of the countries that served as a neutral ground are the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

Even up to now, there is still a prominent rivalry between India and Pakistan. Just recently, the match of the two for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup received such high demand from cricket fans. The match received more than 800,000 ticket applications from fans who wanted to watch the game live.

Previous Matches Between India and Pakistan

Pakistan and India first encountered each other in a game of cricket on October 16, 1952, for a Test match. The two nations have battled against each other for a total of 59 Test matches, 132 ODIs and 8 Twenty20 Internationals. Some of the notable previous matches between the two are:

1952-53 Pakistan Tour of India

The Pakistan tour of India happened from October 10, 1952 to December 24, 1952. The series between the two has a total of 5 Test matches which resulted in the victory of India having a series score of 2-1.

The other two matches of the series resulted in a draw due to problems mid-game. The players were under a great deal of pressure which reached the point where they mainly used defensive tactics. In the second Test match, Pakistan won which made the home crowd furious.

The captain of the India national cricket team was Lala Amarnath, while Pakistan's captain was Abdul Kardar during that time.

1985 World Championship of Cricket

This was the first and only occurrence for a World Championship tournament. The tournament was part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary since Europe settled in Victoria. The final match of the tournament took place in Melbourne Cricket Ground.

It can be concluded that the series was on India's edge since they won all of their scheduled matches. So, it wasn't a surprise when they won their match against rival, Pakistan for the finals by a total of 8 wickets. Kapil Dev once again showed his incredible skills. He helped reduce Pakistan to 4 for 33.

In the finals, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. However, India still managed to catch up with Pakistan and overcome their set score.

Ravi Shastri and Krishnamachari Srikkanth were the opening duo for the match. They gave an outstanding performance in batting which resulted in a partnership of a century.

2003 Cricket World Cup

The eighth edition of the Cricket World Cup happened from February 9 to March 23, 2003. The tournament was hosted by three different countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

In the 2003 Cricket World Cup, it was the very first time that a total of 14 teams are going to compete against each other. Australia sealed the victory for the championship title after winning against India during the finals. However, India's legendary Sachin Tendulkar took home the titles: player of the match and cricketer with the most runs.

Once again, the most awaited match was between rivals India and Pakistan. During this time, India has never scored over 222 runs in the World Cup. So, it was their pride and glory when they chased down 274 and moved forward to the Super Sixes. Tendulkar scored a 98 which highly contributed to the team's victory against Pakistan.

2003-04 India Tour of Pakistan

This time, India is visiting Pakistan for a tour series. The tour of the India national cricket team of Pakistan happened from March 11, 2004, to April 16, 2004. The tour was also called the Samsung cup since the brand was the official sponsor.

In the final match, India won the toss and decided to field. India's Rahul Dravid faced a total of 495 runs for 270 runs. This gave him the opportunity to reach a world record for the most deliveries faced by an Indian batsman in a Test innings. The record was broken in 2017, by Cheteshwar Pujara of the Indian cricket team with 505 balls.

The series was the first time India toured their rival country after 15 years. The tour was regarded as a peace envoy for the two countries. India won over Pakistan by 3-2 in the ODIs and 2-1 in Test. In this match, Virender Sehwag of the India national cricket team earned the nickname, 'The Sultan of Multan' as a result of his impressive 309 runs in the series.

2016 World Twenty20

India and Pakistan met once again for another fueled match. The 2016 ICC Twenty20 series took place at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India. The player of the match was India's captain, Virat Kohli who scored a total of 55.

India won the toss and decided to bowl. The Indian cricket team chased down the total set by Pakistan at 118, having scored a total of 119. The match resulted in a win for the Men In Blue by 6 wickets against their opponent.

Mohammad Sami put India under pressure after he put out both Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina. Fortunately, the partnership of Kohli and Yuvraj which resulted to more than 50 runs helped the team snatch their victory.

Despite Yuvraj getting out, Dhoni successfully covered and helped lessen damages for their team. He supported Kohli who was winning it for India with his graceful, but effective moves.

2017 ICC Champions Trophy

India and Pakistan played against each other for the finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. The match took place at The Oval in London, United Kingdom. Pakistan took home victory after beating India by 180 runs. The player of the match was Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman, while the player of the tournament was Pakistan's Hasan Ali.

Pakistan marked a historical feat after obtaining their first win at the ICC Champions Trophy. India won the toss and decided to bat. Despite this, they were exceptional from the beginning and continued throughout the game.

Pakistan was filled with determination to win against India and it was clearly shown through their moves on the field. The Pakistani bowlers played exceptionally against the Indian cricket team. The tournament pitted the top 8 cricket teams in the world against each other. Due to this, it was expected to be action-packed and the matches did not disappoint.

2018 Asia Cup

It was another win for India in another intense match against Pakistan. The match between the two was the 9th out of 13 ODIs and the player of the match was India's Shikhar Dhawan who took a total score of 114.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan had a whopping 210-run stand which helped India to set the chase high at 238. Initially, Sharma was struggling in the early part of the match but was able to pull himself up. On the other hand, Dhawan has become the king in ODIs, rarely failing with the ball. He knows his moves and how to effectively use his skills.

However, the Men in Green seems to not be in good shape. They exceptionally played against Hong Kong, but failed badly against Pakistan. Even though they lost, they still put up a good fight and posed a challenge for India.

2019 ICC Cricket World Cup

The latest edition of the Cricket World Cup happened from May 30 to July 14, 2019. The tournament was in the ODI format and was participated by 10 different countries. There were a total of 48 matches, but the most awaited was the match between India and Pakistan.

The telecast of the match between the rivals reached over a billion audience which made it the most-watched sports event of all time. The match took place at Old Trafford, Manchester where India won over Pakistan by 89 runs. The player of the match was India's Rohit Sharma who scored a total of 140 runs.


In conclusion, the rivalry between India and Pakistan has a long history of wars and diplomatic conflicts. The main reason behind the division of the two countries is the Partition of British India in 1947. On top of that, the British colonial rule also played a big role in the development of India and Pakistan's rivalry in cricket.

Throughout the years, the two countries have faced each other on the field to play cricket. In these games, they have given their best for the pride and glory of their respective countries. Cricket has become an outlet for the two countries to interact and put behind their diplomatic disagreements.

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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Guest Author: Partha Kansabanik28 Feb 2020

I have come across this article while searching Google. I started reading this article on a very good topic with tremendous interest. However, I find this article is of general nature and for those people who have only a minimum understanding and knowledge of cricket.

The author has not bothered to talk about Test series between two countries when India visited Pakistan for the first time and Pakistan's visit to India in 1962 for the second time. These two series were inconclusive (all the Tests were drawn), but the rivalry and competitiveness were great. The author is also silent about India's visit to Pakistan in 1978 (Pakistan won the series 2-0), Pakistan's return visit to India in 1979 (India won 2-0), India's visit to Pakistan in 1982 (Pakistan won 3-0), etc. The author has not written a single sentence on the India-Pakistan ODIs played At Sharjah during the eighties and nineties. It is also seen that the author has not written anything about India-Pakistan rivalry in the World Cup.

Lastly, the author could have mentioned some great performances of great cricketers in Indo-Pak matches. He could have mentioned Vinoo Mankad's performance in the first two series. Similarly, Fazal Mahmud and Hanif Mohammad should have been mentioned. How many of the present generations know about Haseeb Ahsan's world record in 1962 series? The author could have mentioned the heroics of Imran Khan, tenacious fighting of Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath, Anil Kumble's ten-wicket in an innings, Sehwag's triple century, Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas' special performance against India and Tendulkar's performance against Pakistan. The article seems incomplete without such details.

The author may perhaps consider writing separate articles on the rivalry between these two teams in Tests, in Limited over matches and also on special performances of some special cricketers of both teams.

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