India vs Pakistan – A history of the Biggest Cricket Rivalry

Sports are captivating and ignite the deepest passions within fans. And this passion that fans have for a sport, is often fuelled by the rivalries between two teams. There are so many iconic rivalries across all sports which elevate the excitement to another level. There is the Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona – The El Clasico in football, the Federer vs Nadal in Tennis. In cricket, there is The Ashes between England and Australia, one of the oldest sporting rivalries in the world; then there is the biggest rivalry in the IPL, the Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) rivalry. But amongst all of this, there’s no battle, no rivalry more iconic, fiercer, bigger, more anticipated than the India vs Pakistan Cricket Rivalry. Two countries with a huge political history shelling it out against each other, with two of the biggest cricket fan bases supporting their teams create an atmosphere like no other.

So, in this chapter by ZAP, let us dive deep and learn about the India vs Pakistan cricket history, their World Cup records, and the unforgettable moments that have etched themselves into cricket history.

The History of India – Pakistan Cricket Rivalry:

One of the fiercest sporting rivalries in the world is the Ind vs Pak rivalry in cricket. The intensity of the contests between these neighbouring nations is world-renowned. It is one of the most watched competitions and is regarded as one of the biggest sports games.

The history of this rivalry is deeply intertwined with the complex historical, political, and cultural relationship between the two nations. Stemming from the turbulent events surrounding the Partition of British India in 1947, which led to the creation of India and Pakistan as separate nations, the tensions between these two nations have often spilt onto the cricket pitch.

The First ever India vs Pakistan Cricket Match in 1952
Credit: DAWN

The inaugural cricket match between India and Pakistan took place in 1952, marking the beginning of what would become one of the most intense rivalries in the sporting world. Despite sharing a common cricketing heritage, the rivalry between the two sides quickly escalated due to historical animosity and conflicts.

Despite cricket being a medium for the fans of both nations to come together under one roof to support their national teams, there have been occasions where relations between the countries have been completely disrupted because of their political situations. 

Cricket between Ind vs Pak had to be halted on various occasions due to adversities like the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1965 and 1971, the Kargil War in 1999, and the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks which strained relations between the two countries.  

Despite these interruptions, Ind vs Pak cricket matches have often been seen as a medium through which diplomatic tensions could be eased, if only temporarily. Matches between India and Pakistan have garnered immense attention from fans on both sides of the border, indicating that sports really have the power to transcend boundaries. 

India National Cricket Team vs Pakistan National Cricket Team timeline:

Partition of British India (1947): 

People Displaced during the partition of British India
Credit: Brittanica

The partition of British India in 1947 resulted in widespread violence and the creation of independent India and Pakistan. Millions of people were displaced, and hundreds of thousands lost their lives. This traumatic event left a legacy of animosity and rivalry between India and Pakistan, extending to various aspects of their relationship, including sports.

Pakistan's Entry into International Cricket (1948): 

Pakistan's entry into international cricket in 1948 marked a significant moment in cricket history. As a newly independent nation, Pakistan joined the Imperial Cricket Conference (now, International Cricket Council (ICC)), which laid the groundwork for cricketing encounters with India. 

First Test Series (1952): 

The inaugural Test Match series between India and Pakistan in 1952 marked the beginning of a longstanding cricketing rivalry. Pakistan's tour of India for a series of Test matches set the stage for official encounters between the two nations. Although closely contested, the ICT emerged victorious, setting the tone for future matches between the arch-rivals.

Indo-Pak Wars (1965, 1971): 

The Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 had a profound impact on cricketing ties between the two nations. These conflicts led to the suspension of matches as political tensions escalated. The wars disrupted sporting events and overshadowed attempts at sports diplomacy, making it challenging for cricket to bridge the divide during times of strife.

Cricket Diplomacy (1978): 

Late Pakistan President Mohammad Zia Ul Haq presents a bat to Kapil Dev during the 1987 Test Series between India vs Pakistan

Credit: The Nation

Cricket has often been utilized as a diplomatic tool to improve relations between India and Pakistan. A notable instance of this was in 1987 when Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq attended a cricket match in India. His presence symbolized the potential for cricket to foster goodwill between the historical adversaries.

Neutral Venue Matches (Late 1980s - 1990s): 

Political tensions between India and Pakistan during the late 1980s and 1990s necessitated cricket matches to be held at neutral venues. Locations such as Sharjah and Toronto became the battlegrounds for cricketing contests between the two nations. Despite being away from home, matches drew large crowds and captured the imagination of cricket fans worldwide.

Peace Initiatives (1999, 2003):

Anil Kumble celebrates a wicket during the 1990s test match between India vs Pakistan

Credit: Cricket Highlights

Efforts were made to resume cricketing ties between India and Pakistan amidst ongoing political tensions in 1999 and 2003. These initiatives were part of broader diplomatic efforts to ease hostilities between the two nations. Cricket series were scheduled to promote people-to-people contact and foster goodwill among fans.

Suspension of Matches (2008 - Present):

The 2008 Mumbai attacks marked a turning point in cricketing relations between India and Pakistan. Following the attacks, the BCCI banned all Pakistani players from taking part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and suspended bilateral cricket series with Pakistan due to security concerns. This led to a prolonged hiatus in matches between the two nations, with security becoming a primary factor in cricketing engagements.

International Isolation of Pakistan (2009 - Present):

The 2009 Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team further isolated Pakistan on the international cricket stage. The incident resulted in the suspension of international tours to Pakistan due to security concerns. Pakistan faced challenges in hosting international events and struggled to convince teams to tour its shores.

Resumption of Bilateral Ties (2012):

Virat Kohli celebrates a wicket versus Pakistan during the 2012 India vs Pakistan T20I Series
Credit: Moneycontrol

In 2012, there was hope for the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) invited Pakistan for a series of matches in India, signaling a temporary improvement in relations. 

Asia Cup Controversy (2023):

Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan had an important partnership during the India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match

Credit: The Statesman

Disagreements over hosting rights and security concerns surrounding the Asia Cup in 2023 heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. A compromise was reached in 2023 to organize the Asia Cup in a hybrid model, with matches held in both Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

Also Read: Asian Cricket Council (ACC)

Record-Breaking Match (2023):

Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah celebrate Mohammad Rizwan's wicket in the India vs Pakistan 2023 Cricket World Cup Match

Credit: NDTV Sports

The World Cup in 2023 witnessed a record-breaking match between India and Pakistan, adding another chapter to their storied cricketing rivalry. India's emphatic victory over their bitter rivals meant that India had dominated over Pakistan with a perfect 8-0 record. 

India vs Pakistan World Cup Cricket History:

There have been a total of 8 India vs Pakistan matches in the Cricket World Cup history since 1975. The first time the two teams met was in the 1992 CWC, where the Pakistan team would go on to lift their first ever WC trophy. Though they have lifted the world cup, there has not been a single occasion where Pak have been able to defeat India in a ODI World Cup matchup. Let’s relive some of the best Ind vs Pak world cup matches:

1992 World Cup – India won by 43 runs:

Sachin Tendulkar batting against Pakistan in the 1992 Cricket World Cup India vs Pakistan match

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

India and Pakistan played each other in a World Cup for the first time ever in 1992 in Sydney, Australia. India only scored 216/7, which included an unbeaten 54 from Sachin Tendulkar. Imran Khan, the captain of Pakistan, was out for a duck. In ten vital overs, Sachin claimed the wicket of Aamer Sohail, Pakistan's leading scorer. The Indian Cricket Team eventually won the match by 43 runs.

1996 World Cup – India won by 39 runs:

The Indian Cricket Team celebrates their victiory in the 1996 India vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup Match

Credit: Sportskeeda

The I996 Ind vs Pak World Cup match is remembered for that Venkatesh Prasad sendoff to Aamer Sohail, who had earlier gestured with his bat towards the boundary line after hitting Prasad for two consecutive fours. Pakistan, chasing a target of 288, made a strong start, reaching 84 in the initial 10 overs. However, India gradually clawed back, preventing Pakistani batsmen from settling. Pakistan ultimately ended their innings at 248/9, falling short by 39 runs. This victory marked India's 2-0 lead in World Cup encounters against Pakistan.

1999 Ind vs Pak World Cup Match – India won by 47 runs

Anil Kumble celebrates a wicket in the 1999 Cricket World Cup match between India - Pakistan

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

Venkatesh Prasad emerged as a key figure in India's against their bitter rivals in the 1999 WC matchup at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. With his medium-pace deliveries in challenging swinging conditions, Prasad proved instrumental against Pakistan, ending up with impressive figures of 5/27.

2003 World Cup – Sachin Tendulkar’s masterclass: India won by 6 wickets

Sachin Tendulkar batting in the 2003 Cricket World Cup India vs Pakistan match

In a high-stakes match in Centurion, South Africa, India maintained their lead over Pakistan in the World Cup. India bowled first and held Pakistan to 273/7. Shoaib Akhtar Started string picking up early wickets but there was no reply to Sachin's masterclass that day. With an outstanding 98, The God of Cricket spearheaded India's run chase. Eventually, the Men in Blue won the match by 6 wickets and with 26 balls to spare. 

2011 Ind vs Pak World Cup Semi Final – India won by 29 runs:

The Indian Cricket Team players celebrate a wicket against Pakistan in the 2011 ICC ODI Cricket World Cup India vs Pakistan match

Credit: LatestLY

With the 2011 ICC CWC happening at their home, India were favourites to lift the trophy. Facing them in the semi-finals were their arch-rivals, Pakistan. In a charged atmosphere at Mohali, India continued their World Cup dominance over Pakistan. Opting to bat first, India set a challenging target of 260/9, propelled by Sachin Tendulkar's elegant 85 and Suresh Raina's valuable contribution of 36 runs. Despite Misbah-ul-Haq's determined effort with a score of 56, Pakistan's pursuit fell short by 29 runs as India managed to dismiss them for 231. This victory propelled India into the final, ultimately culminating in their triumph in the World Cup.

India vs Pakistan 2015 World Cup – Virat Kohli’s Century: India won by 76 runs

Virat Kohli Raises his bat to celebrate his century in the 2015 India vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup Match

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

India continued their winning run over Pak at the 2015 ODI World Cup this time at the Adelaide Cricket Ground. Setting a formidable target of 301 runs, India witnessed a stellar century from Virat Kohli. Pakistan's pursuit suffered from consistent setbacks as they lost wickets regularly, ultimately being dismissed for 224. India secured a commanding 76-run win, maintaining their dominance in the rivalry.

India vs Pakistan 2019 World Cup – The RoHitMan Show: India won by 89 runs (DLS method)

Rohit Sharma Raises his bat to celebrate his century in the 2019 India vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup Match

Credit: The Statesman

This was the 7th time the two rival nations were playing each other in World Cup history. In a match affected by rain at Old Trafford, India reaffirmed their dominance over Pakistan once more. India put up a formidable total of 336/5, highlighted by Rohit Sharma's exceptional knock of 140 runs. Due to the rain interruption, Pakistan's target was adjusted to 302 runs within 40 overs, but they failed to reach the mark, ending with a total of 212/6, falling short by 89 runs.

India vs Pakistan 2023 World Cup – The Biggest Match Ever: 

The 8th and the most recent match in Ind vs Pak World Cup history was the 2023 CWC match at the world’s largest cricket ground, the Narendra Modi Stadium. Having a lot of context attached to the buildup of the match, with things like the Pakistan team not wanting to play at this venue due to political reasons and the pre-match ceremonies which many said were unnecessary, this match was very highly anticipated. Pakistan batting first made a strong start with captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan batting well in the order. But, India, as the favourites of the tournament, bowled off Pak’s batting lineup after picking up quick wickets from 155 – 2 to restrict them to 191 in 42.5 overs. Captain Rohit Sharma led the run chase scoring a blistering 86 off 63 balls and making the India vs Pakistan World Cup history record 8-0 to India.

Also Read: Cricket World Cup Winners List | Cup World Cup Winning Captains | Indian Cricket Team Jersey

India vs Pakistan – A Rivalry in the T20 Cricket World Cup:

Indian players celebrate after beating Pakkistan in the India vs Pakistan 2007 ICC T20 Cricket World Cup Final

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

The first ever time the two teams met was in the T20 World Cup in 2007. A young Indian team led by MS Dhoni versus Misbah ul Haq’s Pakistan. The match ended in a draw and the men in blue won it in a bowl out. The two faced each other once again in the final of the same tournament. The India vs Pakistan Final of the 2007 T20 World Cup went down to the wire and India keeping it their calm went on to win the inaugural T20 World Cup. This dominance continued for the next 13 years. India won every encounter in the T20 World Cup. But Pakistan was able to break this jinx in 2021 by eating the men in blue for the first time ever. Led by Babar Azam, they finally defeated India by a convincing 10 wickets. This win, their first against India in any World Cup format, sent shockwaves through the cricketing world.

The overall Record – India vs Pakistan:

Throughout history, Pakistan and India have faced off a total of 206 times. Among these encounters, Pakistan has emerged victorious 88 times, while India has claimed 74 wins. Interestingly, Pakistan holds a stronger record in Test matches and ODIs, but India has dominated in T20 Internationals, securing victory in eight out of twelve matches compared to Pakistan's three. 

Pakistan has always struggled against India in World Cups, failing to secure a single win in the 31 years they've competed against each other in this prestigious tournament.

The Pakistan Cricket Team players celebrate a wicket in the India vs Pakistan 2017 Champions Trophy Final

Credit: Hindustan Times

However, in the Champions Trophy, Pakistan has fared better, winning three out of five encounters, including a memorable victory in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Final, where they avenged an earlier loss to India in the group stage. This victory marked the second ICC final meeting between the two teams, following their clash in the T20 final back in 2007.


Matches Played

India Won

Pakistan Won

Draw/Tie/No Result





















Best Moments from the India Pakistan Rivalries:

This rivalry between India vs Pakistan has seen some of the most iconic moments in the sport, but here are the 5 most iconic ones:

Venkatesh Prasad vs Aamer Sohail:

Things got heated between Aamer Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad in the 1996 ODI World Cup quarter final between Pakistan and India. Sohail smashed Prasad for a boundary and taunted him, pointing towards the boundary. But Prasad had the last laugh when he bowled Sohail out on the very next delivery, knocking down his off stump. It was a dramatic moment that turned the game around.

Javed Miandad and Kiran More - The Funniest Moment:

In the first ever India-Pakistan ODI World Cup match, players Javed Miandad and Kiran More stole the show with their antics. Kiran More, the wicket keeper, appealed for a catch against Miandad, sparking a heated exchange of words between the two players. Miandad comically mocked More's gestures by jumping up and down. Despite the drama, umpires reported the incident, but no action was taken. In the end, India won by 43 runs.

Anil Kumble’s 10 wickets - The Legendary Feat:

In the second Test against Pakistan in Delhi, India was eager to even the series after losing in Chennai. Anil Kumble, India's best bowler in those days, stepped up in a big way. With remarkable skill and precision, he took all 10 wickets in Pakistan's second innings, helping India secure a massive 212-run victory at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. This incredible feat made Kumble just the second bowler ever to achieve such a milestone in Test cricket, following Jim Laker's legendary performance.

Also Read: Spin Bowling Tips and Techniques

Sachin Tendulkar’s Iconic Upper Cut - The historic cricket shot:

In the 2003 ODI World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar was in the form of his life! In a big match against Pakistan, he smashed 98 runs in just 75 balls. Even though Pakistan scored well, Sachin's powerful batting put India ahead. The moment of the match was when the God of cricket played a square cut and hit a six off Shoaib Akhtar, which would go down as one of the most iconic moments in cricket history. Though Sachin missed his century by just two runs, India still won comfortably, thanks to Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh's partnership. There’s no true fan that can forget that cricket shot!

India’s 2007 T20 World Cup Final Victory - Beginning of Something Truly Special:

India batted first in the thrilling final of the 2007 T20 World Cup between India and Pakistan. Gautam Gambhir played a stellar innings, scoring 75 runs, giving ICT a competitive total of 157 runs. Pakistan's chase began well, but they stumbled midway through their innings. Despite this, Misbah-ul-Haq's remarkable solo effort brought Pakistan back into contention. However, with 13 runs needed from the final over, the match hung in the balance. In a tense moment, Misbah attempted a risky shot, only to find Sreesanth waiting at short fine leg to take the catch. With that catch, India sealed a dramatic victory, winning the match by five runs and claiming the title of the first-ever T20 World Cup champions.

These are not all of the most iconic moments from the India vs Pakistan rivalry. There are so many more that define this rivalry. There is the Virat Kohli masterclass against Pakistan in the 2022 T20 Cricket World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, then there is Irfan Pathan's hattrick against Pakistan in the first over of the Test Match, there is also Virender Sehwag's Triple Century against them. 


The India vs Pakistan is one of the greatest cricket rivalries ever. The energy, thje passion of fans will never deplete when it comes to the clash between these two countries. Recent, reports suggested that the India - Pakistan game tickets for the 2024 T20 World Cup in New York are being sold for about Rs. 1.5 Crore on illegal websites. This shows how crazy people are to watch this game, and this undoubtedly makes it one of the fiercest sporting rivalry ever.

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