A coveted trophy up for grabs, pride at stake, hard work and endless days of training and immense pressure of a country's hopes on one's shoulders when a team plays in the World Cup, then comes India vs Pakistan. On the road to the World Cup, India face old foes Pakistan on June 16 and the encounter is one which is just not simply missed, especially at a World Cup. The rivalry has a long, enthralling history and every time these two nations clash, expectations soar and the pressure and tension mounts on each of the 11 players when they meet.
The 2017 Champions Trophy loss to Pakistan has taken its toll on the Indian cricket team, but the disappointment has so far made the Men in Blue stronger, better, fitter and aggressive. The two nations met in the 2018 Asia Cup trophy in UAE and it was a Virat Kohli-less Team India, which had the last laugh, for now. The Rohit Sharma led India side thrashed Pakistan in both encounters - group stage and super four clash and went on to clinch a record 7th Asia Cup title.
Some pride may have been restored for the Indians, but having the final say is nowhere close for either side. The two nations clash once again on June 16 at Old Trafford, Manchester. Here's a recap of some of the memorable moments in the history of India vs Pakistan clashes so far.
Miandad's last ball six in Sharjah (1986 Asia Cup)
The Indo-Pak rivalry has a rich history and players from the past make it even more special beginning with the last ball six from Javed Miandad in the final of Australia -Asia Cup in Sharjah, 1986.
It was a full packed stadium, where Pakistan were chasing 246 against then World Champions India. Paceman Chetan Sharma was bowling the final over and the Green Army were still 4 runs away from victory on the last ball when Miandad skied it for a maximum to create history. It was the first time Pakistan won any significant tournament. After the match, Miandad said, "The Indians were together, excitedly talking strategy. The whole contest had been reduced to getting four from the last ball. I came up with my own strategy. I was certain Sharma was going to attempt a yorker and aim for my legs. So I decided to stand well forward of the batting crease. My plan was to lean back, make room for myself and give it everything I had."
Tendulkar's Master Class (2003 World Cup)
In the 2003 mega-tournament, the stage was set for both the nations to prove their supremacy but it was India who actually came on top in the end. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar's ferocious innings of 98 runs will always remain intact in every cricket lover's heart. Pakistan batted first and posted a competitive target of 273/7 with the help of Saeed Anwar's century but it was Tendulkar's day. The way he hit Shoaib Akhtar to upper cut over the midwicket area left the opponents dumbfounded. Master Blaster was the man of the tournament but the people will always remember that tournament for that knock.
'Bowl-out' (2007 T20 World Cup Group Match)
It was the inaugural T20 World Cup and all eyes were on the two teams to build some hype for the ICC tournament. It was a new format for both the teams as they didn't play much T20 cricket before that. MS Dhoni, who was arguably the best skipper ever of the Indian team, was captaining the side for the first time in the tournament. In the group match India batted first and put 141/9 on the scoreboard which seemed an easy target as per T20 standards. Pakistan needed 12 runs in the last over of the match, later 1 run of 2 balls, but Sreesanth's tight bowling proved heavy for Misbah-ul-Haq and the match ended in a tie promoting the second and last ever 'Bowl-out' in cricket. For India, Dhoni applied his excellent game awareness and picked only spinners to try their hand in the ball out which was very effective as Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa were on-point whereas Pakistan chose Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi and Yasir Arafat who failed terribly. Later on, India beat Pakistan again in the final of the tournament to give birth to a T20 revolution not just in India but across the world.
Virat Kohli's dominating show (Asia Cup 2012)
The Men in Blue faced neighbours in a must-win match and it was Virat Kohli who created history with the bat in a 330 run-chase. Batting first, Pakistan had a great start with both openers - Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed - scoring a century each. They forged an Asia Cup record partnership of 224 runs for the first wicket. It led the Pakistanis to a score of 329 runs for 6 wickets. In reply, India had a poor start with opener Gautam Gambhir being sent back early for a duck. In spite of losing the first wicket on a score of naught, all the Indians were pretty happy as they had the chance to witness the fluent batting of India's two best batsmen of all time - Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. The current Indian skipper was on full fire in Dhaka and scored his highest individual score - 183 runs in just 148 balls. He and Tendulkar had an excellent partnership of 133 runs for the second wicket. India managed to win the match by six wickets and eliminate Pakistan from the Asia Cup.
Amir's fiery spell (2017 Champions Trophy final)
The rivalry between the two teams got heated up in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, as India were riding high on confidence with their dominating performances throughout the tournament. Whereas Pakistan had already lost their opening match to the Men in Blue which made India hot favourites in the tournament. But left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir had something else in store as he rattled the Indian batsmen with his inswingers. India were chasing a 339-run target but still, Kohli's men had the upper hand with their strong batting line-up. Amir took the match away single-handedly by dismantling India's top 3 - Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli.
It was not the first time when the left armer troubled Indian batsmen though. In the 2016 Asia Cup, he toyed with Rohit and Dhawan, but Kohli stood tall against his nemesis to take his team across the finish line.
India openers slay Pakistan (Asia Cup 2018)
In the first group stage of the clash, it was Indian bowlers who bowled out Pakistan for a paltry total of 162 with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kedar Jadhav claiming three each, while Bumrah claimed two. India eaily went on to win the clash by 8 wickets. However, the stakes were raised when India met Pakistan in the Super Four clash and this time, Pakistan batsmen pushed forward to post a competitive total of 237/7, with veteran Shoaib Malik shining with ethe bat. However, the chase was made a mockery when Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan slammed their respective tons and posted a 210-run partnership before the latter departed. Rohit went on to finish the job with Rayudu, winning the clash by 9 wickets. India went on to clinch a record 7th Asia Cup trophy by beating Bangladesh in a last ball thriller in the finals.
A new chapter is ready to be scripted in the history books of Indo-Pak rivalry as the two nations clash in the World Cup on June 16.