India and Pakistan face each other in the T20 World Cup on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
It’s the mother of all clashes and arguably the greatest cricket rivalry on the planet! Come October 23, excitement will soar high as India and Pakistan will take on each other in their tournament opener in Melbourne. The rivalry has produced mouth-watering contests, matches that go down to the wire, which not only generate interest in the two countries but globally. Since the two teams don’t play bilateral series anymore, their match-ups at the world events and multi-nation tournaments increase excitement even more.
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India and Pakistan have faced each other in the T20 World Cup six times and the former clearly hold the upper hand with a record of 5-1. Till their last encounter, the Men in Blue were invincible against their archrivals. Prior to their 2021 T20 WC match, India had a 100% win record against their neighbours.
But things changed in the 2021 clash against the two teams as Pakistan served India a thumping 10-wicket defeat in Dubai. The tormentor-in-chief in the match was Shaheen Shah Afridi who rocked the Indian top order. For his 3/31, he was also given the Player of the Match award. In the run chase, Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam were absolutely clinical.
However, that was just a one-off as far as the T20 WC is concerned. Because prior to that match, India had won all the five previous encounters between the two teams. And other than the two matches in the 2007 T20 WC, where they played thrillers, including the final, India outclassed Pakistan on all occasions.
In the 2007 T20 WC, they first met each other in the group stage where the match ended in a thrilling tie but India were better prepared for the bowl-out, which they won 3-0. Then, Team India held on to their nerves in a sensational final to be crowned the maiden T20 WC champions. After that, the two teams came face to face in 2012, 2014 and 2016, where India edged the Men in Green every time.
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Virat Kohli led the charge for Team India in 2012 with an unbeaten 78 to help the side win by 8 wickets. King Kohli again took India to a victory in 2014 with a 36 not-out after they reduced Pakistan to 130/7 in the first innings. Amit Mishra was the Player of the Match for his 2/22. The man for the big occasion, Kohli, again haunted the Men in Green as he played a match-winning innings of 55 not-out in the 2016 clash as India outsmarted Pakistan by 6 wickets, yet again in the T20 WC encounter.
Not just the T20 WC, Virat Kohli has been an old nemesis for Pakistan in the Asia Cup as well. In a low-scoring match between the two sides in 2016, the former India captain’s 49 helped the Men in Blue win by 5 wickets after they bundled out Pakistan for just 83. The two teams have met twice after that in the 2022 Asia Cup, which was held earlier this year. In that edition, both teams had a 1-1 scoreline. The neighbours have also played a bilateral series in 2012 which was drawn 1-1.
So in total, India have a better record with 8 wins whereas Pakistan have 3 victories to their name in the shortest format. Clearly, India have the upper hand in this rivalry which guarantees pulsating contests but on a given day, it’s anybody’s game and the teams need to hold on to their nerves.