Turning back the clock
The history of sport has its books flooded with bitter rivalries. Neatly inked in those books are names such as Barcelona vs Real Madrid, Celtic vs Rangers, Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees, Mohammad Ali vs Joe Frazier. But for someone coming from the Indian subcontinent, it has undoubtedly got to be India vs Pakistan.
This bitter conflict originated during the Partition of British India, into India and Pakistan in 1947. With time it only worsened, as the two nations who had shared a common cricketing heritage laboured through two major wars in 1965 and 1971, along with the 1999 Kargil War and 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. So, when India takes on Pakistan, everything else is put on hold.
All eyes will be on Sunday’s curtain raiser, as India continues in its pursuit of silverware. The blue tigers have never lost to their neighbouring foes in a World Cup game. The IndoPak encounters have deposited some fond memories in our mental banks. This blog withdraws 5 stand-out memories that will surely bring a smile to your face. (Not if you're a Pakistani fan)
1. Javed Miandad mocking Kiran More
India first met Pakistan on the big stage in 1992, exactly 9 years after winning their first World Cup. One of the highlights of the match included Javed Miandad jumping up and down trying to mimic Kiran More, since the wicket-keeper kept distracting him. Kiran More claimed that he signalled to his bowler to bowl shorter, as he anticipated that Javed was nursing a back injury. In doing so, Javed Miandad mimicked his Indian counterpart, to signal he was more than fit to play. Miandad ended up with 40 off 100 balls, gifting India a comfortable 43 run victory.
2. Rant by Pakistani Fan
Sarfaraz Ahmed led a side that fuelled a disappointing run of events at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. This paved the way for passionate fans who took to social media an array of memes and jokes. It included British-Pakistani Momin Saqib who took the internet by storm. In that very game, India comfortably neutralised Pakistan and won the game by a whopping 89 runs.
3. India walk all over Pakistan in bowl-out
Before super-overs being introduced in 2008, games that were tied resulted in a bowl out. This surprisingly remains to be India's only match that went into a bowl-out. All three of Pakistan's bowlers - Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi failed to hit the target. On the other hand, Vijender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa all hit the stumps. M.S Dhoni's strategy worked wonders as he stationed himself low right behind the stumps, which made it easier for the Indian bowlers to hit their target, as opposed to his Pakistani counterpart.
Robin Uthappa also claimed that Venkatesh Prasad who was their bowling coach, had them prepared for this unlikely scenario. India eventually got the better of Pakistan, after both teams sat on 141 runs.
4. Final over of the 2007 World Cup
This was the first of many victories for M.S Dhoni, as he went on to win the 2011 50-over World cup and 2013 Champions trophy. However, winning this final was nerve-wrecking as Pakistan needed 13 runs from 6 balls. Joginder Sharma conceded 6 runs in his first two balls to Misbah-ul-Haq. However, a silly mistake proved costly as the Pakistani batsman attempted a scoop shot over short fine-leg, only to find India's Sreesanth.
5. Prasad vs Sohail
The 1996 Quarter Finals in Bangalore witnessed another heated spectacle between Venkatesh Prasad and Amir Sohail. It turned into a heated scenario when Sohail hit Prasad for four and claimed that he would do the same if he bowled to him in that fashion. Strangely, the next ball witnessed a quick turn around of events as Prasad bowled a fabulous full length delivery which drilled into the off stump, as the bails skyrocketed into space.
Sunday's fixture gives India a good opportunity to go 8-0 up in their head to head battle with Pakistan. We're extremely excited, are you?
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