Ranking the Top 25 India vs. Pakistan ODIs of All Time
It is often our immediate and, of course, our natural inclination to regard the Ashes as cricket's greatest bilateral contest.
With almost 140 years of unforgettable history, England and Australia's enduring battle is unquestionably the game's most time-honoured spectacle.
Yet, for those of us who reside outside of the bubbling cricket furnace that is the subcontinent, it's difficult to grasp the true intensity of the rivalry between India and Pakistan.
Whereas England and Australia's rivalry is entrenched only in the sporting domain, the subcontinental battle between India and Pakistan is set against the backdrop of political, cultural and religious tension. Since the partition of British India in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three major wars, one undeclared war, and countless other political and military standoffs.
Unlike the region of Kashmir, cricket is a common ground in which they share. The game provides a place where battles can be had, but lives not lost.
Consequently, encounters between these two great cricketing nations often morph into colossal exhibitions of national pride; the victors bathing in an uplifting sense of superiority over their closest and most fierce rivals.
It is in the one-day arena that we've perhaps witnessed the most enthralling duels between the two countries, with nowhere on earth cherishing the limited-overs formats quite like the cricket lovers in India and Pakistan.
So with another Asia Cup underway and the sides set to meet on Sunday, we count down the finest One Day Internationals contested by these two great cricketing nations.
25. Sharjah, 1996
Result: India won by 28 runs
Notable For: First time India passed 300 in ODIs
After a poor series with the bat, Sachin Tendulkar led India to victory in the fourth match of the Pepsi Sharjah Cup in 1996 with a superb 118.
Alongside Navjot Sidhu's 101, India raced to 240-1 before Tendulkar was dismissed—some lusty hitting at the end of the innings from Mohammad Azharuddin propelling India past the 300 mark for the first time in one-day cricket.
In response, Aamer Sohail and Rashid Latif made a flying start for Pakistan, but it was Anil Kumble who restored order for the Indians by completing a tidy 10-over spell of 2/38 that secured a satisfying win.
24. Manchester, 1999
Result: India won by 47 runs
Notable For: Played while the nations were fighting the Kargil War
Contesting a cricket match while their countrymen were at war must have been both emotional and painful for India and Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup.
When the teams met at Old Trafford in the Super Six stage, the contest embodied the unwanted dimension of extreme tension between the two nations.
Consequently, it was an anxious affair. Batting first, India posted a moderate total of 227-6, which looked very attainable for a strong Pakistan side.
However, Venkatesh Prasad produced one of his finest displays to claim 5/27 in 9.3 overs, reducing India's rivals to 180-all out in 45.3 overs.
23. Sharjah, 1991
Result: Pakistan won by 4 runs
Notable For: Depleted Pakistan side surprise a full-strength India
In the sixth match of the Wills Trophy in 1991, Pakistan were forced to fly in three new batsmen to an injury-hit top order, which saw Aamer Sohail compile a match-defining 91 in the game's first innings.
In response, India appeared to be cruising when the opening pair of Ravi Shastri and Vinod Kambli reached 124 without loss. Three quick wickets temporarily pulled Pakistan back into the match, but when Sachin Tendulkar cruised his way to 49, all looked lost for the bowling side.
However, a brilliant catch from substitute fielder Mushtaq Ahmed to dismiss Tendulkar, and then Wasim Akram's capture of Kapil Dev first ball, swung the balance in Pakistan's favour, with India unable to score the required 12 runs from Waqar Younis' final over.
22. Kolkata, 2004
Result: Pakistan won by 6 wickets
Notable For: Salman Butt's graceful 107 not out
When the fierce rivals met for a one-off ODI in Kolkata in 2004, India were coming off three consecutive losses to Pakistan in the one-day arena.
It was expected that 90,000 frenetic fans at Eden Gardens would help to stop that run.
Certainly, when the hosts posted an immense total of 292-6, it seemed likely that Pakistan's run of success was set to end.
In stepped Butt. At just 20 years of age, the left-hander silenced the Eden Gardens crowd with a sublime hundred under pressure, being supported by Shoaib Malik's 61 and Inzamam-ul-Haq's 75 as Pakistan cruised home with an over to spare and six wickets in hand.
21. Birmingham, 2004
Result: Pakistan won by
Notable For: Low-scoring thriller
A subdued ICC Champions Trophy in 2004 eventually sprung into life when India and Pakistan met at Edgbaston in the 12th match of the tournament.
In difficult batting conditions, India managed to post a competitive total of 200 after falling to 28-3 and then 106-6 during their innings.
However, the competitive total suddenly looked out of reach for Pakistan when they collapsed to 27-3 by the 11th over. Alongside his captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana steadied the chase and, with composed and skilful batting, helped Pakistan to reclaim the advantage.
But the game was still very much on the line when Shahid Afridi arrived at the crease. Held back until No. 8, Afridi smashed 25 from 12 balls to give further impetus to Pakistan's push, allowing Youhana to guide the team home.
20. Sharjah, 1991
Result: Pakistan won by 72 runs
Notable For: Aaqib Javed's 7/37, including a hat-trick
A dominant bowling performance from Javed secured the Wills Trophy for Pakistan in 1991, as the right-arm seamer claimed the then-best bowling figures in ODI history to destroy India in their chase of 263.
It was Zahid Fazal and Saleem Malik who had driven Pakistan into a position of dominance, by putting on a 171-run stand for the third wicket to set up an imposing total.
Javed then did the rest, claiming seven of the first eight Indian wickets (the other was a run out), which included a hat-trick when he trapped Azharuddin and Tendulkar LBW in consecutive balls after dismissing Sanjay Manjrekar.
19. Visakhapatnam, 2005
Result: India won by 58 runs
Notable For: MS Dhoni's arrival on the world stage
India and Pakistan's meeting in the seaside town of Visakhapatnam in 2005 saw the first unleashing of MS Dhoni on the international stage.
Overshadowing a glittering battling lineup that included Virender Sehwag, Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, Dhoni smashed his way to 148 from only 123 deliveries with an array of typically unorthodox blows.
Arriving at the crease with dyed hair and a rock star's swagger, the future Indian captain immediately elevated himself to the forefront of cricket on the subcontinent.
18. Centurion, 2003
Result: India won by 6 wickets
Notable For: Tendulkar's blistering 98
When the two rival nations met at the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, it had been almost three years since they had locked horns on the one-day stage.
Despite Australia bulldozing their way through the draw, it was India and Pakistan's Pool A meeting at Centurion that was the most hyped match of the tournament.
In front of a frenzied crowd, the cricket lived up to the expectations, with Pakistan setting India a target of 274 on the back of a fine hundred from Saeed Anwar.
Yet, when the chase began, it was clear that Sachin Tendulkar was set for a masterpiece—the Little Master flaying the Pakistani attack all around Centurion with 98 from 75 balls to see his side cruise home.
17. Bangalore, 1996
Result: India won by 39 runs
Notable For: Conspiracy theories and Javed Miandad's final match
Tensions ran high in the aftermath of the two nations' encounter in Bangalore in the 1996 World Cup, with Wasim Akram burned in effigy after Pakistan's defeat. The left-arm speedster didn't play because of injury, but conspiracy theorists believed Wasim had deliberately withdrawn, following on from bribery allegations a year earlier.
On the field, India had set the visitors 288 to win, despite their top-order failing to hit full stride at any stage; Ajay Jadeja played the defining hand with 45 from 25 balls.
In response, Pakistan made a flying start, reaching 113-2 after the first 15 overs, before a middle-order stumble handed the initiative to the home side.
When Miandad was run out for 38 in his final match, the result was all but sealed, with Miandad firing some parting shots at team management on his way out.
16. Brisbane, 2000
Result: Pakistan won by 2 wickets
Notable For: A scampered bye off last ball to win
In the second match of the Carlton & United series in Australia in 2000, the two rival nations fought out an intense, low-scoring nail-biter at the Gabba in Brisbane.
In seam-friendly conditions, India were bowled out for 195 in the game's first innings, with only hard-fought fifties from Ganguly and Robin Singh propelling them to a competitive score.
Pakistan, however, made a mess of the chase, falling to 71-6 inside 22 overs. Yet, a rearguard 63 from Yousuf Youhana breathed life into the contest, before Mushtaq and Younis pushed Pakistan to victory with a 43-run partnership from 37 balls, scampering home for a bye from the last delivery.
15. Lahore, 1997
Result: Pakistan won by 9 wickets
Notable For: Ijaz Ahmed's brutal 139 not out
In one of the most lopsided clashes ever to be staged between the two sides, Pakistan's Ijaz Ahmed hammered an unforgettable century to propel his side to a colossal victory in Lahore—a game that saw Pakistan overcome India's total of 216 with 23 overs to spare.
Promoted up the order to open the innings under lights, Ijaz smashed 10 fours and nine sixes to finish unbeaten on 139 from just 84 deliveries. Alongside him was Afridi, who also clubbed India into humiliation with a rapid 47 from only 23 balls.
14. Dhaka, 2012
Result: India won by 6 wickets
Notable For: Virat Kohli's sublime 183 in chase of 329
The fifth match of the 2012 Asia Cup saw Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed compile a 224-run opening partnership, which saw both men reach emphatic hundreds in the team's imposing total of 329.
Yet, although the Pakistan side contained a solid bowling attack, the men in green found themselves at the mercy of a Kohli masterclass; the phenomenal right-hander cruising to 183 from only 148 balls to see his side home with more than two overs to spare.
13. Ahmedabad, 2005
Result: Pakistan won by 3 wickets
Notable For: Pakistan's first successful 300-plus run chase
Never before had Pakistan successfully chased down 300 or more in a One Day International, and in doing so on this occasion, they managed to break that barrier in a match that was only 48 overs apiece.
Batting first, India reached 315-6 on the back of a magnificent 123 from Tendulkar and some powerful hitting at the close of the innings by Yuvraj Singh.
In response, five of Pakistan's top eight operated at a run a ball or better; the top five all reaching at least 40 before Inzamam-ul-Haq pierced the off-side field to hit the last ball of the match for four to secure victory.
12. Kolkata, 1987
Result: Pakistan won by 2 wickets
Notable For: Saleem Malik's 72 from 36 balls
Less than a year after the 1986 Asia Cup final, Pakistan completed another extraordinary chase to thwart India once more.
Through Kris Srikkanth's brisk 123, the home side had set their visitors an imposing target of 239 from their 40 overs, which seemed out of Pakistan's reach as they teetered at 161-5.
Yet, like Miandad had done in Sharjah the year before, Mailk blasted his side home, hammering 72 from only 36 balls at a time when such rapid scoring had rarely been witnessed.
11. Lahore, 2004
Result: India won by 5 wickets
Notable For: Record sixth-wicket stand to steer India home
In the fourth match of India's visit to Pakistan in 2004, it seemed certain that the home side were set to claim a series victory when the visitors stumbled to 162-5 in their chase of 294.
Again, it was Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq who had starred with the bat for Pakistan, compiling a magnificent 123 to put the hosts in a dominant position after claiming two of the opening three matches of the series.
However, Dravid and Mohammad Kaif combined to put on an unbeaten 132-run stand in 22 overs to snatch both victory and the momentum for India.
10. Mohali, 2011
Result: India won by 29 runs
Notable For: India progressing to the 2011 World Cup final
Toward the end of the last decade, India and Pakistan's meetings had become so infrequent that the teams had only clashed twice in the three years prior to the 2011 World Cup semi-final.
Thus, when the teams descended on Mohali for their most significant clash in years, a tense affair was always likely.
Fittingly, it was Tendulkar's contribution that was the difference between the two sides, with an important 85 from India's hero steering them to a total of 260-9 that was too much for a gallant Pakistan team.
9. Sharjah, 1985
Result: India won by 38 runs
Notable For: Pakistan bowled out for 87
Victory looked all but assured for Pakistan in the first match of the Rothmans Four-Nations Cup in Sharjah in 1985, after they had dismissed India for a mere 125 in the first innings.
Behind Imran Khan's spell of destruction that saw the all-rounder claim 6/14 from 10 overs, India's top order was blown away as Kapil Dev's side sunk to 34-5.
However, behind their inspired captain, India responded by dismantling Pakistan for just 87 to cruise to a amazingly comfortable victory.
8. Mohali, 2007
Result: Pakistan won by 4 wickets
Notable For: Successful chase of 322
In one of the more modern clashes on this list, India coasted their way to 321-9 on the back of Tendulkar's 99 and a horrendous bowling display from Pakistan, which saw them concede 41 extras.
With the game appearing lost, Pakistan set about their chase moderately, reaching 81-2 after 14.5 overs when Butt was dismissed.
However, through a sensational hundred by Younis Khan and some strong hitting from Misbah-ul-Haq and Afridi, Pakistan got home with one ball to spare.
7. Chennai, 1997
Result: Pakistan won by 35 runs
Notable For: Saeed Anwar's 194
The match in Chennai in 1997 will always be remembered for Anwar's then-ODI world-record score of 194.
Despite being aided by a runner for most of the innings, Anwar clubbed 22 fours and five sixes—three of those coming consecutively off Kumble—to race to his incredible total in only 146 deliveries.
In doing so, the left-hander broke Sir Viv Richards' long-standing record of 189 and also gained praise from Tendulkar, who described the innings as one of the best he'd ever witnessed.
6. Dhaka, 1998
Result: India won by 3 wickets
Notable For: World-record chase of 315
The two rivals met again in the final of the Silver Jubilee Independence Cup in Dhaka in 1998 and proceeded to play out another thriller.
In a match reduced to 48 overs due to bad light, Pakistan amassed a total of 314-5 in the first innings—a colossal figure at the time.
Seemingly out of the contest, India made a blazing start through Tendulkar, before Ganguly and Robin Singh drove their side toward victory with 124 and 82, respectively.
But with two balls remaining, India still required three runs. On the second-to-last ball delivered by Mushtaq, Hrishikesh Kanitkar incredibly found the boundary and, in doing so, propelled India to the highest successful run chase in ODI history at the time.
5. Jamshedpur, 1987
Result: Pakistan won by 5 wickets
Notable For: Miandad hits two sixes in final over to win
After being curiously sent in to bat in fine conditions, India's opening pair of Sunil Gavaskar and Manoj Prabhakar put on 154 for the home side's first wicket, helping to steer India to a total of 265-3.
In reply, Pakistan started briskly thanks to Ijaz Ahmed's 72, before Miandad steered the visitors toward the finish line.
Yet, even behind Miandad's brilliance, the tourists still required 12 from the final over to claim victory. Refusing to allow India to push the game to the final delivery, Miandad struck two consecutive sixes from the first two balls of Dev's over to secure en emphatic five-wicket victory.
4. Karachi, 2004
Result: India won by 5 runs
Notable For: The first match between the sides in Pakistan for 15 years
In 2004, India embarked on a tour to Pakistan, with the sides meeting for the first ODI in Karachi on March 13.
The clash was undoubtedly one of the finest between the nations, as a batting masterclass from both sides paved way for a thrilling result.
Without an individual hundred, India blazed their way to 349-7, with Dravid's 99 and Sehwag's 79 setting the pace.
In reply, Inzamam-ul-Haq clubbed his way to 122, leaving just nine runs to get from the final over. But a beautifully delivered six balls from Ashish Nehra stopped Pakistan in their tracks and secured victory for the visitors.
3. Hyderabad, 1987
Notable For: India declared winners in a controversial finish
In Hyderabad in 1987, India and Pakistan completed one of their most controversial encounters, when India were awarded victory for the loss of fewer wickets after the sides had been left tied at 212 runs apiece.
In a bizarre finish, Abdul Qadir ran himself out on the last ball when attempting an impossible second run. Because Pakistan had scored more runs after the 25th over (the tiebreaker at the time), Pakistan would have won if he'd settled for a single.
Adding to the sensational drama was the fact that Dev's delivery should have been ruled a no-ball, as only three fielders were positioned inside the circle.
2. Quetta, 1976
Result: India won by 4 runs
Notable For: First ODI contested by the two nations
It's impossible to look back over the great ODIs played between India and Pakistan without mentioning the original.
When the teams met for the first time in the one-day arena on October 1, 1978, limited-overs cricket was still in its infancy, with just 40 overs set aside for each innings.
The visiting Indians batted first and set a modest total of 170 for the hosts. When Pakistan set about their chase, a strong fast bowler named Kapil Dev made his first appearance for India, taking the new ball on the way to figures of 1/27 in his first innings in international cricket.
However, it was Mohinder Amarnath's all-round performance with 51 and 2/38 that secured a landmark victory for India, as Pakistan fell an agonising four runs short.
1. Sharjah, 1986
Result: Pakistan won by 1 wicket
Notable For: Miandad's final-ball six to win the 1986 Asia Cup
After winning the inaugural Asia Cup in 1984, it appeared that India were set for their second consecutive triumph in the subcontinental competition when they met Pakistan in the final in 1986.
Thanks to a sublime 92 from Gavaskar, the defending champions had set a strong total of 245-7 at the neutral venue in Sharjah.
However, a Man of the Match hundred from Miandad clawed Pakistan back into the contest, eventually resulting in Miandad clubbing the final ball of the match for six when his team needed four to win.
The right-hander finished unbeaten on 116 from just 114 deliveries.