What’s your favourite India vs Pakistan cricketing memory? It's difficult to choose one, right?
Since October 16, 1952, when India faced Pakistan for the first time ever in a cricket match, no Indo-Pak encounter has been short of a blockbuster, be it in Tests or in ODIs or in the T20 internationals.
The world will once again come to its feet when the arch-rivals meet in their campaign opener at the T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on October 24.
India have prepared well ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 mega encounter with twin victories (vs England and Australia) in the warm-ups, while Pakistan had a mixed bag, defeating West Indies before losing to South Africa.
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Since the inception of the T20 World Cup in 2007, India have met Pakistan only five times in six editions so far with two matches coming in the first edition in South Africa. For the record, Pakistan have failed to beat India in any of the World Cup (ODI and T20) matches to date.
Here's a trip down memory lane of India vs Pakistan face-offs in the T20 World Cups so far:
2007 World T20 – South Africa
India vs Pakistan – Group Stage
It was the first time India were playing Pakistan in a T20 international and that too at a World Cup. Batting first, India rode on Robin Uthappa’s 50 and then new captain MS Dhoni’s 33 to post 141/9 in 20 overs. Mohammed Asif took 4/18. In reply, Pakistan made a disastrous start losing their top four with just 47 runs on board. However, Misbah-ul-Haq's 35-ball 53 took Pakistan closer to victory before he was run out on the final ball to end the match on a tie – first in T20 World Cup history. A bowl-out followed. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa hit the wickets accurately while Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi all missed by a fair distance to hand India full points.
India vs Pakistan – Final
How can one forget that epic encounter in Johannesburg on the night of September 24? Playing in the final in the inaugural edition, Gautam Gambhir’s brilliant 75 opening the innings, propelled India to 157/5 in 20 overs. Like their previous encounter, Pakistan once again made a bad start, losing six wickets for just 77 runs. The Shoaib Malik-led team had to rely on Misbah again. Needing 13 off the final over, Joginder Sharma bowled a wide first-up before a dot ball in the next to mount pressure. Misbah-ul-Haq hit a huge six in the second legitimate ball to bring down the equation to six runs required from four balls. However, Misbah went for a scoop trying to go over short fine-leg but ended in giving a simple catch to S Sreesanth. Pakistan lost by five runs.
2014 World T20 – Bangladesh
India vs Pakistan – Super 10
It was India’s first match in Super 10 in Group 2. Fielding first, the Indian bowlers did a pretty decent job to restrict Pakistan to 130/7 in 20 overs. Umar Akmal top-scored for Pakistan with 33. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja were among the wickets. In reply, India won the game with nine balls to spare with Shikhar Dhawan (30), Virat Kohli (36 not out) and Suresh Raina (35 not out) doing the job for India in Dhaka.
2012 World T20 – Sri Lanka
India vs Pakistan – Super 8
India came into this match on the back of a huge nine-wicket loss against Australia in the Super 8 stage. Batting first, Pakistan were all out for 128 after Lakshmipathy Balaji took 3/22. In reply, Virat Kohli singlehandedly won India the encounter with his brilliant 61-ball 78 that included eight fours and two sixes. India finished the Super Eight stage on four points from three matches – same as Pakistan and Australia – but were ousted from the competition due to a lower net run rate.
2016 World T20 – India
India vs Pakistan – Super 10
Undone by New Zealand in the first match of Super 10 Group B, India needed to win against Pakistan to stay in the competition. As usual, Indian bowlers rose to the occasion at the jam-packed Eden Gardens – 61,337 people including legendary figures like Sachin Tendulkar and Imran Khan – restricting Pakistan to 118/5. In reply, the hosts were in a spot of bother losing Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina with just 23 runs on board. However, it was the 61-run fourth-wicket partnership between Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh that turned the match India’s way. Kohli finished on an unbeaten 37-ball 55 to win India the game by six wickets.
For the first time since the 2007 edition of the tournament, India will be opening their campaign with a match against Pakistan. Fourteen years ago, India won the tournament under the leadership of MS Dhoni. Can they do it again with Dhoni as a mentor?