India-Pakistan drama: India v Pakistan in last five Asian Cups

It’s been 10 years since they played a bilateral series and so, along with the World Cups, the Asian Cup is the only way for cricket fans to watch India take on Pakistan. The Indian Express looks back on their encounters at the last five editions of the Asian Continental Cricket Tournament.

2010: A not so warm clash in Dambulla

Billy Bowden had to put his hand between Gautam Gambhir and Kamran Akmal. Billy Doctrove had to intervene in the verbal exchange between Shoaib Akhtar and Harbhajan Singh. The drama didn’t stop during the drinks break. The drama didn’t stop even after the game-winning six. A televised treat for broadcasters and fans, India and Pakistan played a 500+ run ODI humdinger who was undecided until the 599th of the 600th delivery.

A year before scoring two of the most popular fiftieths in India’s ODI history, Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni did the same to lead India’s hunt of 268. “Champions trophy (lost in 2009) was fresh in my mind, it was a one-time reward,” said Player of the Game Gambhir.

But it took Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh to wrap up the final. The spinner off celebrating his winning move, helmet removed, screaming as he looked towards Akhtar on the border and the latter not holding back his emotions are visuals that watchers will not forget.

“It wasn’t cool today. With a game like this, especially against Pakistan, you can never be cool. Thanks to Bhajji, you can call him an all-rounder now,” summed up the Indian captain.

2012: Tendulkar leaves, Kohli takes over

The moment Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar crossed paths with Virat Kohli on his way back to the pavilion in the 2011 World Cup final is etched in Indian cricket mythology. The passing of the torch from a batting messiah to a superstar who could and expressed an interest in lifting that burden onto his shoulders. If not before, the 2012 Asian Cup tie between India and Pakistan confirmed that he could. Chasing 331, Tendulkar was back in the dressing room after a crucial 52 from 48 but with almost 200 points to chase.

Kohli, who had already released a chase action sequence in Hobart against Sri Lanka with NRR and a place in the final involved, gave another to the discerning Indian fans. 183 out of 142 deliveries, 22 fours and two sixes. Even if the defending champions kept their hopes for the final alive, Bangladesh would beat Sri Lanka and snatch that ticket later. The takeaway, if any, for India was that Sachin Tendulkar was gone (as the outing would ultimately prove to be his last in the format) and Kohli had indeed taken over.

2014: Boom Boom fireworks in Mirpur

A day after turning 34, Shahid Afridi took the number a bit too seriously. In what was one of the closest matches between the two teams in the 21st century, Afridi took the new Indian duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to the cleaners, earning a one-wicket victory in Pakistan in the final.

The Indian team led by Virat Kohli mustered a total of 245 runs, with Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja scoring 50. With Pakistan’s top order adding 96 from 17 overs, the 2012 Asian champions looked set for a soft win, but Ashwin and Amit Mishra turned the tide in India’s favor, momentarily as the Afridi’s cameo of ’34’ on 12 deliveries snatched the game. men in blue. The win marked Pakistan’s fifth victory against India in the tournament out of 10 encounters in total.

2016: Mohammad Amir is back, at his scary best

After a five-year ban for match-fixing, Mohammad Amir marked his return to cricket during the January 2016 Pakistan tour of New Zealand. The then 23-year-old was at the center of all pre-match talk for Pakistan’s Asian Cup opener against India, a first T20 in the tournament, a month later. And he would justify the hype once he got the ball in his hands. Even though Hardik Pandya leading the Indian bowling charge with a three-iron had ensured that Pakistan had little to defend, Amir still made it all but a walkover for India to chase 84 out of 120 deliveries.

The quick left arm got both India openers, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane for a duck in his first over and then Suresh Raina in his second, leaving India 8/3. Virat Kohli’s 51-ball-49 restored parity for India and finally got them over the line. A year later, Amir would pick another three-iron against India, the one that saw Pakistan win the Champions Trophy final.

2018: Clear Gulf in UAE

2018 marked the return of the tournament to the ODI format. It saw India and Pakistan cut twice but neither match lived up to its earlier reputation as India beat their neighboring rivals twice in the space of four days. India improved on their win to eight wickets chasing 163 in the group stage with a nine wicket win in the Super four match against Pakistan chasing 238. A clear gap was visible between the two teams in terms of overall quality in a country bordering the Persian Gulf.