India, Pakistan and What Used to be Cricket’s Greatest Rivalry

The only bilateral series played between these two rivals in the last 13 years, consisted of five limited over games in India at the beginning of 2013, where Nasir Jamshed’s heroics led Pakistan to victory in the three-match ODI series, while the teams split the T20s. There have been no Tests since 2007-2008, when Pakistan last toured India, and that is a sporting tragedy.

India have just beaten Australia in Australia and are the top Test team in the world, while Pakistan are a little bit further down in their development, but improving all the time under the leadership of Misbah ul Haq and Babar Azam, having just beaten South Africa at home as well as away (in white ball cricket) and there is a lot of talent coming through from both countries.

India is a much-admired team across the border for the way it has emerged as a powerhouse in all formats, and the talent that it keeps throwing up. India’s win in Australia was acknowledged with great warmth in Pakistan with most former players as well as the media being fulsome in their praise of the achievement.

A lot of Pakistani batsmen are measured by how they stack up against India’s best and so over the years, various young players – Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and now Babar Azam have been touted as Pakistan’s answer to Virat Kohli, in whom perhaps they see a player not unlike Pakistani players of yore – brash, Punjabi, combative and never one to take a backward step. In fact, under Kohli, India seems to have become more like those Pakistan teams of the past who never seemed to give up and could pull out wins from the unlikeliest of situations.

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