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India has played 12 matches against arch-rivals Pakistan in cricket World Cup across ODIs and T20Is and has won all of them. Pakistan came close to beating India in the 2007 World T20 league match, but the MS Dhoni-led team tied the match and won in the bowl-out. Ahead of India’s opener against Pakistan in the 2021 World T20 league match on Sunday.

Cricwizz takes a look at why India has 100% success against their arch-rivals in World Cup.

India has won key moments in all their WC wins against Pakistan

In most of the World Cup matches, India has won key moments in the game, and it has helped them to be unbeaten against the arch-rivals. For example, in the 1996 World Cup quarter-final, Ajay Jadeja took apart Waqar Younis bowling in the death overs to take India to a total beyond Pakistan’s reach. Again, in the 2007 World T20 final, Misbah has had 4 balls to score 6 runs to win the title. But India kept their cool and won that crucial moment as Misbah played a false stroke to hand India a 5-run win. 

India has played out of their skin to win those key phases of the game in the World Cup matches, but Pakistan has visibly struggled, and the result is that they are yet to beat their arch-rivals in the premier tournament.  

Pakistan has not been able to maximize winning positions

It’s not that India has had been the dominating team in all the World Cup contests against Pakistan. In the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal, when Pakistan was chasing 288 for a win, Aamer Sohail and Saeed Anwar had put up 84 runs stand for the opening wicket in just 10.1 overs. But Sohail, who was the captain, lost his cool and sledged Venkatesh Prasad after hitting a four. In a bid to go for another glory shot, Sohail was out bowled by Prasad in the next delivery itself. Pakistan then struggled to stitch another big partnership and lost the match.

India has planned better and played better cricket than Pakistan

No matter the occasion, India has turned out to be a better team on all parameters in the World Cup clashes against Pakistan. They have utilized the conditions well, strategized against each player, and executed it brilliantly. Who can forget the backfoot cover drive of Sachin Tendulkar against Wasim Akram in the 2003 World Cup match against Pakistan?

Tendulkar moved across the stump to counter the swing of Akram’s outgoing delivery and punched it straight to cover the boundary for a copy-book backfoot cover drive. Again, when Shoaib Akhtar bowled bouncers outside off stump, both Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag played uppish square cut for sixes to take Akhtar out of the attack. 

Pakistan has just choked in World Cup matches against India

12 matches and 0 wins – That’s the record of Pakistan against India in the World Cup. In cricket parlance, it’s called choking in the big matches. In a few matches, Pakistan has the better team than India, but they were outsmarted by a team that played sensible cricket and stuck to the basics. Pakistan was found wanted in this segment of the game.

India has treated it as just another game

“For us, it’s a game of cricket that has to be played in the right way, in the way we know we can. Yes, the environment is different on the outside from the fan’s perspective, it’s definitely louder, definitely more excitement in the air. But apart from that, from the players’ point of view, we stay as professional as we can and always approach this game in the most normal way possible,”

- Virat Kohli quoted ahead of the India vs Pakistan match set to take place on Sunday.

When players treat it more than just a game, it creates undue pressure on them. Pakistan has given a high status to India matches in World Cup, and it has brought undue pressure on them to perform. On the other hand, the Men in Blue has always kept the profile of the India vs Pakistan match down, stating it is just another match and played freely. 

Cover Credits: BCCIofficial