When it comes to India-Pakistan encounters, Indian players have always risen to the occasion. History is witness to the fact that when the chips were down, Indian batsmen have come to the fore and scored runs. Let’s rewind and take a look at some of them :
Wonderboy Kohli aces the chase
India and Pakistan met in the 5th match of the Asia Cup and thanks to Nasir Jamshed (112) and Mohammad Hafeez (105), Pakistan posted 329 runs on the board. After losing a quick wicket, Sachin Tendulkar along with Virat Kohli played excellent knocks. While Sachin was dismissed for 52, Kohli carried on the attack. Smashing the ball to every corner of the park, he scored 183 runs, which turns out to be the best knock for India in these encounters.
Dhoni ‘hurts’ Pakistan with his power hitting
The second ODI of the 2005 bilateral series saw India batting first where Sehwag was off to a raucous start but Tendulkar departed early. This was just a glimpse of the stellar show to be followed through by MS Dhoni who walked in at number 3. Though Sehwag hammered 74 runs off 40 balls, this was Dhoni’s match to shine as he hit 15 fours and 4 sixes in his brutal knock of 148. Putting 356 runs on the board, the explosive Indian batting set a massive target for Pakistan. It was now the chance for bowlers to perform and thanks to some wonderful spells by Nehra and Yuvraj, the Pakistani batsmen were dismissed for 298. India won the match by 58 runs and India found an unyielding hitter of the ball in its wicketkeeper, MS Dhoni.
Dada dazzles in Adelaide
Sourav Ganguly is not known as ‘The God of Offside’ for no reason. The former Indian captain has played several winning knocks and this was definitely one of them. Batting first, India got off to a decent start. While Tendulkar succumbed, ‘Dada’ carried on his dazzling batting, striking 12 fours and 1 six with a strike rate of 97.91 leading India to end at 267. Pakistan’s competitive batting proved fruitless as they were all out for 219. India won the match by 48 runs.
Quickfire Sehwag helps India chase 300
When we think of Virender Sehwag, all we can visualise is fours and sixes irrespective of the opposition and situation! The same happened when India had to chase a target of 300 in the 5th match of the Asia Cup in Karachi. Thanks to Shoaib Malik and other vital contributions, Pakistan had managed to post 299 on the board. Sehwag, who was on a rampage that day, struck 119 in just 95 balls, giving the necessary push India needed. The ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ hit 12 fours and 5 sixes in his decorated knock. India won the match with 47 balls to spare.
Tendulkar’s 98 makes things easy in 2003 WCNo Indian batting list can be completed without the mention of Sachin Tendulkar. The Little Master played one of his best knocks in the 2003 World Cup match against Pakistan in Centurion. Chasing a total of 274, Sachin gave the perfect start as he cut loose right from the onset. A slightly aggressive form of Sachin was visible as he played an astounding innings. Although he could not complete a century, his 98 off just 75 balls, is still stamped on every fan’s mind as one of the most memorable knocks ever. Playing with a SR of 130.66, Sachin hit 12 fours and one six as this went down as one of his best knocks in the tournament.
The Indian top-3 have been in terrific form throughout the Champions Trophy 2017 and Sunday’s final against arch-rivals Pakistan will only inspire the whole batting order to perform well.