India Vs Pakistan : The greatest on-field cricket rivalry in history
That right there, the introductory line to this article should hold enough weight for readers – both cricket fanatics and the casual fans alike.Don’t believe me? Well, lets just say you’re at the right place in that case!
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of what has perhaps been the most intense, nerve wrecking cricket rivalry between two teams to have ever worn their respective country’s colours.
Lets first get the obvious out of the way. An India-Pakistan match is never short on controversy, be in during the match, on-field or off there is an eerie feeling in the air right till the match between these two teams is finished.
From the get-go, when India was announced as the host country for the T20 world cup this year, it was up for much speculation as to whether or not an Indo-Pak clash was on the cards. Once it was made official, the roof came off the place, quite literally…and that is when we bore witness to the eminent controversy – first came the surprising shift of venue from Dharmashala to Kolkata’s Eden Gardens (to my delight though!) which was followed by political grandstanding over Pakistan’s participation in the tournament.
But after much back & forth negotiations and political mumbo jumbo, the match was finally given the green signal.
The security which has been guaranteed & also provided to the Pakistani team on it’s arrival on Saturday has been compared to that given to heads of Asian Nations. In what has been an unprecedented show of protection for a cricket team touring our country, the team was escorted to the team hotel from the airport through not only a different channel, built especially for them in the airport, but the entire process was carried out by police commandos armed with assault rifles, RAF and SAF personnel.
This front has been sort of a let down for the cricket crazy people of the city. As of writing this, the ticket sales for the Indo-Pak match has almost reached it’s final limit. With over 23,000 of the fans who had booked their tickets for the previously slated Dharmashala match being given the first preference, and also how only a limited number of tickets went up for sale only for 48 hours, it’s hard to see Kolkatans pack the entire Eden Gardens. But regardless of which, The Gardens will practically, without a doubt be a fortress the Pakistani team will be walking into.
To put it simply, the most epic moment these two teams have given us, in a T20 format is definitely the Misbah scoop in the inaugural final of this tournament back in 2007. During that final, all of Pakistan’s hopes were lying in umm…Misbah’s bat. Up until that fatal scoop shot which fell into the hands of Sreesanth, us Indians we surely had our hearts racing!
Now, if that match and it’s dynamics has to be anything to go by…this Pakistani team, which for the record is a much stronger one, should not be taken lightly, especially by a buoyant Indian team riding the glory of it’s Asia Cup victory.
The fact is Pakistan is going to face a hostile crowd when they take the field on Saturday evening. The record books state – out of the total eleven 20-20’s played between these two teams, India has won 7 whereas Pakistan has 3 in it’s kitty and with one match ending in a draw. But if history has taught us anything, it’s the fact that some things just look good on paper, and with the latest defeat Pakistan suffered
at the hands of the men in blue in the Asia Cup last month, rest assured they’ll come out all guns blazing.
India’s current line-up has star players from top to bottom, to be honest. Pakistan on the other hand though might just have a few surprise elements up it’s sleeve, in terms of sheer unpredictability and a fresh crop of players.
India will bank on the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to provide stability on top of the order while the innings-end should more than likely be capped off by “captain cool” – MS Dhoni himself.
The Eden Garden’s pitch has been proven to be favourable to the spinners, which should probably be a shot in the arm for spinners & tweakers of both the sides which include the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Imad Wasim and Shahid Afridi.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your popcorn and everything else ready! This one…like they say is going to be a cracker!
Match starts at 7.30pm IST on Saturday – 19th March.