Any fixture between India and Pakistan never fails to attract attention from fans all over the world. Twenty-two players giving their all to win the game for their country against their bitter rivals and millions of fans cheering their heart-out makes this prominent fixture one of the best spectacles in the game.
But then again, this game is not only about rivalry. While the relation between the two nations has never been very promising, the players have tried to forget the rivalry on several occasions and show the way forward with some heart-warming gestures.
So before the two arch-rivals, India and Pakistan take on each other in the upcoming Asia Cup 2018, we take a look at some memorable moments between the players of both these countries:
- India skipper, Virat Kohli is a popular figure all over the world including Pakistan. Arguably the best batsman in the world, Kohli is making fans not only with his exploits on the field but also with his gestures. And one of those gestures was seen ahead of the World T20 match against Pakistan in 2016 when he gift his bat to Mohammad Amir who had recently returned to the game after completing his ban.
- Losing this fixture can make the fans turn on their players in a blink of an eye, and when the game is as big as a Champions Trophy final, it could get worse. However, the India and Pakistan players forgot about all the consequences after the Champions Trophy final last year and shared a light moment after the game which Pakistan won. ICC also put this moment as the Spirit of the Year 2017.
Virender Sehwag picking up Shoaib Akhtar after the latter slipped during his delivery stride will always remain one of the best moments of this famous fixture.
- Tension was all around when India and Pakistan were gearing up to take on each other in the semifinal of the 2011 World Cup. However, it did not stop Sachin Tendulkar from sharing a laugh with Shahid Afridi during the high-octane clash.
- Players from both the sides shaking hands with each other is a common sight. However, it mostly happens after the game. But an unusual, as well as pleasant sight, was witnessed before the clash between the two teams before a World Cup game in 2003. Before the start of the game, the players shook hands and exchanged souvenirs.
- In 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup game, the young colts showed the way with a beautiful gesture. Players from both the sides were seen tying up each other shoelaces during the game.
- It is not everyday that the fans from these two nations laud their opposition. But Chennai crowd left the rivalry with a exemplary exhibition of sportsmanship when it gave a standing ovation to Pakistan after the visitors won the Chennai Test in 1999 by the skin of their teeth.
Javed Miandad mocking Kiran More after being irritated by his over appealing will always remain one of the most famous moments of this fixture.
- During the 2007 Test series, Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar drank water from the same water bottle during the drinks break. Both the players used to share a great rivalry on the cricket field.
- Sourav Ganguly borrowed a bat from Shahid Afridi in 1997. Ganguly didn’t carry a lot of bats with him and when he did not have any bat left with him, he asked for favour from Afridi.
- During the group stage clash at last year’s Champions Trophy, Yuvraj Singh went on to check Wahab Riaz after the latter injured himself while bowling.
- Hitting a six in the nineties can be a herculean task for any batsman. But then again, Virender Sehwag was always different from others, as he reached his first 300 in Tests with a maximum. The former India batsman hit Saqlain Mushtaq for a six to complete his 300 in Multan.
- India and Pakistan were involved in one and only bowl out in 2007 World T20 Group match. The Dhoni-led side was able to hit the bullseye in their first three attempts, whereas, Pakistan missed all their chances to hit the stumps.
The players have also showed the way with their gesture off the field
- The India players took time out to pose with Azhar’s Ali sons after the ICC Champions Trophy final.
MS Dhoni met his huge fan from Pakistan, famously known as Chacha. Dhoni also gifted a signed bat to him. A delighted Chacha had said, “There is not a better person in the world than MS Dhoni”.
- Former India skipper, MS Dhoni also posed with Sarfraz Ahmed’s son ahead of Champions Trophy final 2017.