Yet another one-sided affair is killing the charm of Indo-Pak clash…….
India romped home with another comprehensive victory against arch-rivals Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup. They won the game compellingly by nine wickets, which is also their biggest win in terms of wickets against Pakistan. Their opponents didn’t pose any threat whatsoever and once again failed to make an impact on a surface that was conducive for batting. For a very long time now, India-Pakistan games have failed to generate that kind of intensity and competition they are known for. Matches have been one-sided and have failed to create any kind of competitiveness.
Matches between India and Pakistan have a rich history; the level of fascination and excitement is on a different level altogether when these two teams are locking horns. However, recent encounters between these two sides have been quite opposite. For the second time in the tournament, India got the better of Pakistan without any hassle. They did everything right against a vulnerable Pakistani side and have made their way to the final. Any teenager, or someone who hasn’t followed cricket since the 90s or early 2000s, would be wondering –what is the whole hype surrounding the India-Pakistan games are all about? Such has been the impression of the games played in the recent times.
First and foremost, India and Pakistan do not play bilateral series due to political tensions mounting over the two countries. The only time their fans get to witness these two sides locking horns with each other is during tournaments, which means less action. But the lack of competitiveness is only taking the sheen away from their rich past. India have dominated all the World T20s since 2012; the World Cup 2015, the Asia Cup 2016, Champions Trophy 2013 and the league game in 2017 along with the two games from the on-going tournament, India conquered it all.
Just when people thought that India vs Pakistan encounter was losing its charm, Pakistan bounced back emphatically in the final of CT 2017 to give hope and a promise for more intensely contested games in the future. This was the first occasion in a very long time when Pakistan dominated India. India had been carrying the winning momentum for a very long time before Pakistan swung the pendulum back last year, but it didn’t even last for a reasonable amount of time. Pakistan’s last two games against India might also give an indication that their win last year was just a flash in the pan. In saying so, no question is being raised on Pakistan’s potential. They are one of the strongest sides in world cricket, but in games against India, the psychological factor comes into play.
Asia Cup 2018 & 2016
India got the better of Pakistan in the first round of the tournament by a massive margin of eight wickets. The absence of Virat Kohli made rounds on social media prior to the start of the tournament, but India had enough ammunition, they left no stone unturned in their preparations and punched above their weight in both the games. India won the first encounter by eight wickets, where Pakistan failed to cross the 200-runs mark by a fair margin. They looked clueless against India’s bowling and their bowlers didn’t have enough runs to defend.
Coming to the second encounter, the surface was a batting paradise. Pakistan are not good chasers, they opted to bat first, but failed to post a competitive total. Indian openers made a mockery of Pakistan’s bowling by scoring scintillating centuries apiece and winning the game by nine wickets. In fact, the only wicket that fell was a run-out.
Asia Cup 2016 was played in a T20 format, which was also dominated by India. India won the two games by five and six wickets respectively, but the first encounter was an intense one. In a low-scoring game, Pakistani bowlers weaved magic, but Virat Kohli stood like a wall and carried the team over the line.
ICC Champions Trophy 2017 (league game) & 2013, World Cup 2015
The league game of the 2017 edition was a one-way traffic; India won this game by 124 runs (D/L method). Pakistan once again floundered in the run-chase and failed to even put up a fight.
The 2013 edition was widely affected due to rains. In a rain-curtailed match, Pakistan’s batting folded for 165 while India chased down the revised target with eight wickets to spare. The 2015 World Cup was no different; India successfully defended 300 by 76 runs.
India have dominated their opponent, but the fact that a team like Pakistan have looked mediocre is somewhat surprising. Pakistan have always been known to unleash their best against their arch-rivals, but it seems. they have lost that killer instincts over the years and perhaps, that’s why Indo-Pak matches are losing their charm day by day.