Lack of bilateral series between India and Pakistan has made their rivalry more intense: Vijay Dahiya

India began their Asia Cup 2022 campaign with a thrilling final-over victory over their arch-rivals Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on August 28, and also opened yet another exciting chapter in the long-standing cricketing rivalry between the two sides. Former Indian wicketkeeper-batter Vijay Dahiya said that the lack of bilateral series between India and Pakistan has made their rivalry even more “intense”.

India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series when the Men in Green toured India in December 2012 for three ODIs and two T20Is. Since then, the two teams have only met in major events such as the Asia Cup and the World Cups. Pakistan dominate the head-to-head record in the longer formats, with a superior record of 12-9 in Test cricket and 73-55 in ODIs. And India have a healthy record of 8-2 over their neighbours in the T20Is.

“The lack of bilateral series between India and Pakistan has made their rivalry even more intense,” said Vijay Dahiya on a cricket chat show.

India vs Pakistan since their last bilateral series

Since India and Pakistan’s last meeting in the 2012-13 bilateral series, they have met eight times in ODIs and five times in T20Is, and the Men in Blue lead in both formats – 6-2 in ODIs and 4-1 in T20Is. The last two meetings between the sides took place at the same venue, Dubai, and were 10 months apart, with two different winners.

When India and Pakistan met in October 2021, in the T20 World Cup, Pakistan won the duel with a handsome 10-wicket victory, chasing a target of 152. For Babar Azam’s side, it was their star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who had done all the damage right at the start of the game, scalping India’s top three. And it was teed off with a near-perfect opening stand by the Pakistan skipper and Mohammad Rizwan, who scored 68 runs off 52 balls and 79 runs off 55 balls, respectively.

Fast forward to August 2022, it was India’s turn to return the favour and this time it was not a one-sided walk in the park but a last-over spectacle. India, after winning the toss, opted to bowl first and bowled out Pakistan for 147. Pakistan pacers once again made life difficult for the Indians up at the top, grabbing their first wicket in the first over. However, an important contribution from Virat Kohli, and a match-changing partnership from Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya turned the tide completely in India’s favour. In the end, it was Hardik Pandya who took his side home with a six when as many runs were needed in three balls.