India and Pakistan cricketers have played some huge knocks when they have come up against one another in the T20 and ODI format. India have always been blessed with quality batsmen, while Pakistan's willow-wielders always seem to raise their game against their archrivals.
Players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Sourav Ganguly (for India) and Shoaib Mailk, Ijaz Ahmed, Saeed Anwar, Salman Butt and Younis Khan (for Pakistan) have played some famous knocks in coloured clothing.
Let us relive those special memories ahead of the Asia Cup mega clach betweeh India and Pakistan, Saturday. Here are the top five knocks played by India and Pakistan cricketers.
Sachin Tendulkar (75-ball 98) in 2003 World Cup, Centurion
The legend has himself described this knock against Pakistan as one of the best he has ever played. Though the India opener might have missed the century by two runs, his innings paved the way for a huge win for India, who were chasing Pakistan's score of 273 runs. The knock was even more special as Pakistan had a dangerous bowling lineup, which included Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis. Tendulkar hit these fast bowlers all around the park for 12 fours and that famous six over third man region with Akhtar at the bowling end, which is still talked about whenever India vs Pakistan clashes come up.
MS Dhoni (123-ball 148) in April 2005, Vishakhapatnam
The Jharkhand man announced his arrival in world cricket with this incredible innings of 148 runs against Pakistan, after which the cricket world began to take note of his batting exploits. Dhoni scored the magnificent century in his fifth ODI match. In his first four matches, the wicket-keeper batsman batted lower down the order, but was promoted to number three in his fifth ODI, and boy, did he grab the opportunity with both hands, thrashing the Pakistan bowlers right from the outset. His 123-ball 148 included 15 fours and 4 sixes.
Gautam Gambhir (54-ball 75) 2007 World T20 final, Johannesburg
There was huge pressure on the left-hander, after Virender Sehwag was ruled out of the India vs Pakistan final. Despite India losing wickets at regular intervals, Gambhir scored runs via some good running and clever shots to compile a well-made 75 runs from 54 balls. Cricket fans may not remember this innings like that of Dhoni's swashbuckling one, but one has to remember had Gambhir not played the knock, India's trophy cabinet would not have included the World T20.
Saeed Anwar (146-ball 194) in May 1997, Chennai
Anwar always had the habit of coming up with some huge scores against India, and the innings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai, where he scored 194 runs, is still etched in the memories of cricket fans all over the world. During the time, one was not acquainted to witnessing players go close to 200 runs, and the left-hander just missed it by 6 runs. He hit five mammoth sixes and 22 brilliant boundaries to silence the Chennai crowd. Such an innings during the time was rare and everyone who watched Anwar's brilliance on that day, should consider themselves lucky.
Ijaz Ahmed (84-ball 139) in October 1997, Lahore
It was a national holiday (2nd October – Gandhi Jayanti) and the viewers in India were glued to their TV sets, hoping to witness a batting masterclass from Tendulkar. Rather they were treated to some ruthless batting by Ijaz Ahmed. The right-hander tore apart the India attack with his explosive batting, scoring 139 runs from 84 balls. The innings was a special one from Ijaz, who was lofting the bowlers over mid-on and square leg fence with nonchalant ease. In the process, he hit 10 fours and nine sixes to help Pakistan defeat India by nine wickets.