History of iconic clashes between India and Pakistan in all ICC Cricket World Cups

Emotions and commerce join hands when India and Pakistan play against each other in world cup, played at any venue on the globe.

India Vs Pakistan matches
History of India Vs Pakistan at ICC Cricket World Cup (Photo Courtesy: Sports Cafe)

Geographically, India and Pakistan are not natural neighbours because India was one country before the 15th of August 1947. But then a bloody partition happened, and later, Pakistani generals and rules ensured that their country remained the enemy No 1 of India. This political hate also spreads into sports, and whenever there is an India Vs Pakistan game in cricket, field hockey or even in soccer, the temperatures are always high.

The supporters of both teams want their teams to win at any cost, and players playing the game are no different. Although we have heard stories of Indian and Pakistani cricketers sharing good friendship outside the boundary lines, inside, they are fierce against each other. Even a regular cricket series between these two countries, either Test or ODI, creates too much euphoria; one can only imagine what kind of rivalry one can expect at the top level.

Yes, we are talking about the history of iconic India Vs Pakistan clashes at the ICC Cricket World Cups. Although Team India is currently leading this battle 7-0, and most of those games remained one-sided, the supporters’ enthusiasm always remains the same whenever there is an India vs. Pakistan game in a 50-over game. Ironically, the first four world cups didn’t have a single game between these two teams. Both the teams came closer to playing one during the 1987 Reliance World Cup when both entered the semi-finals. But India lost to England, and Pakistan lost to Australia.

Today, we are bringing you a small look-back at all those seven games played between these two great cricketing nations in the ICC Cricket World Cups. We are sure that you will like this feature as we all are proud and loving fans of cricket, and we like to talk about the glorious past of Indian cricket, always.

All India Vs Pakistan Matches at ICC Cricket World Cup (50 Overs Format)

The Sydney Surrender (4th March 1992)

This was the first-ever encounter between India and Pakistan in an ICC Cricket World Cup. I was 18 years at that time, so I can say that there was some excitement before this match, but there was no euphoria. India was almost out of the competition, and Pakistan struggled to hold on. But still, at the end of the day, it was an India Vs Pakistan game, and we all were looking forward to it.

India won the toss and chose to bat first. With a good start given by Ajay Jadeja, who was the ‘newcomer’ at that time and captain Azharuddin, and later well supported by Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev, India registered 216/7 in their allotted 49 overs. In reply, Aamir Sohail started well and was later supported well by Javed Miandad. Still, no other batter took responsibility for taking their team home, so Pakistan lost the game by 43 runs.

The game’s highlight was the banter between Indian wicket-keeper Kiran More and Javed Miandad that led to Miandad’s Kangaroo jump, and it all looked funny.

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The Bangalore Burglary  (9th March 1996)

I still remember the former Pakistan Prime Minister and one of the expert commentators, Imran Khan, who made huge claims about Pakistan winning this game on NDTV the night before. While concluding that program, Dr Prannoy Roy said that he “hope Imran Khan has to eat his words tomorrow, ” which is precisely what happened. This time the atmosphere among the Indians was electric as it was not a round game, but it was the Quarter Final of the world cup, so the team that lost the game would be out of the competition.

India again won the toss and again elected to bat first. This time Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sachin Tendulkar gave India a good start, but then there were stutters in the middle and at one point, it looked as if India was losing the course towards making a big score. But Ajay Jadeja’s 45 from just 25 balls turned the game decisively on India’s side. Because Pakistan’s over rate was not up to the mark, they were asked to chase down the target of 288 runs in 49 overs.

Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar (the nemesis of India) gave them a brisk start, and they were 84 for no loss at the end of the 10th over. But then Javagal Srinath struck, and later in Sydney, Pakistan kept on losing the wickets at regular intervals and lost the game by 39 runs.

The highlight of this game was captain Wasim Akram decided not to play the game at the very last moment. He gave the captaincy to Aamir Sohail, which created lots of controversy within Pakistan. Plus, that famous dual between Aamir Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad when after hitting a four, Sohail gestured something to Prasad and the very next ball, Prasad got him clean bowled.

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The Manchester Mastery (8th June 1999)

Third time in a row in an India Vs Pakistan game at ICC Cricket World Cup; India won the toss and elected to bat first. This time Sachin Tendulkar with Sadagoppan Ramesh gave India a steady start. Later, Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Azharuddin gave the team momentum, and India scored 227/6 in their 50 overs. This score looked not enough when Pakistan started batting. But Venkatesh Prasad brought his ‘A game’ into this, took five wickets for just 27 runs in 9.3 overs, and gave Pakistan no chance. With no batter contributing enough, Pakistan got all out for 180 runs in the 46th.

Compared to the last two encounters, this game was probably the dullest game between India and Pakistan in any ICC Cricket World Cup, and there wasn’t any fireworks from any of the players from either side.

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The Centurion Saga (1st March 2003)

For a change this time, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The nemesis of Team India at that time, Saeed Anwar, scored an excellent century, but the other batters could not give him good support or take the momentum till the end of their batting innings. Only Younis Khan, Rashid Latif, and Wasim Akram’s fiery batting could take them to a total of 273/7, which was an uphill task for the Indians.

With Akram, Waqar, Razzaq and Akhtar at their disposal, a good start looked not easy for Indian openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. But both had other ideas. They gave India a rollicking start, and especially Sachin Tendulkar, with his epic six runs over the point boundary of a fast Shoaib Akhtar delivery, things started to smoothen out for Team India. After Sehwag and Ganguly got out quickly, there was a bit of a worry, but then Dravid, Kaif and Yuvraj ensured that India chased down this big target with more than four overs to spare.

Despite India winning comfortably, in my view, this was probably the most competitive game between India and Pakistan in ICC Cricket World Cups to date.

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The Mohali Moment (30th March 2011)

If Bangalore’s quarter-final was the big stage for any India Vs Pakistan game in ICC World Cup, what would you say about the semi-final game of the world cup between these two teams? Pakistan travelled to India to play the semi-final of a world cup bigger than anything else.

India’s good luck with the toss in the Pakistan game returned, and without any doubt in his mind, Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to bat first. The start was even better than what it was in Centurion. Tendulkar became the mainstay of Indian batting, and around him, batters scored runs. Wahab Riaz put up an inspiring spell at the end of the Indian innings, despite India being able to put up a fighting total of 260/9.

Pakistan’s chase was typical of the past three ICC Cricket World Cup games at Sydney, Bangalore, and Manchester. They started well but then huffed and puffed in the middle and later handed over the game to India, and India won by 29 runs. Later India became cricket world cup champions at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai by beating Sri Lanka.

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The Adelaide Assault (15th February 2015)

The same old story also repeated at Adelaide, from India winning the toss and batting first to Pakistan surrendering without any fight. This year India took part in the World Cup as defending champions and was in some incredible form. India made 300 or more than 300 runs in most matches in this world cup, and Pakistan wasn’t spared either. With the help of Virat Kohli’s 107 and 70s by Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina, India scored 300 runs after 50 overs.

Because T20 cricket became a norm in international cricket, 300 was within reach of Pakistan on that flat Adelaide wicket. But as it happened in the past, the Pakistani chose to remain in the dressing room more than on the pitch and despite Misbah-Ul-Haq’s ‘try’ Pakistan got all out for 224 runs in the 48th over itself. This was quite a humiliating defeat by Pakistan among all the encounters against India in the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament.

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The Manchester Mauling (16th June 2019)

Pakistan won the toss this time but tried their luck with bowling first, which backfired big time. India’s top order just toyed with Pakistani bowling. KL Rahul scored 57, Rohit Sharma, having a purple patch in that tournament, scored 140 in no time, and Virat Kohli made 77 which pushed India’s score to 336/5 full fifty overs. Pakistan’s fielding was sloppy, so India could score a huge one while batting.

Although Pakistan showed some fight with Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam guiding the team in the right direction this time, a beauty from Kuldeep Yadav that clean bowled Babar changed the entire game scenario after Babar’s wicket; Pakistan again decided to surrender and lost three more wickets in the next 12 runs. If this was not enough, then the rain intervened, and the Duckworth Lewis System gave Pakistan an impossible target to chase when the game resumed, resulting in yet another comfortable win for India.

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Ahmedabad Awaits (15th October 2023)

There could be no better place than the world’s biggest cricket stadium, The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, to host the India Vs Pakistan game in an ICC Cricket World Cup. The date is fixed for this encounter, and every cricket fan worldwide is already waiting for it. We will update this article with due analysis of this game once it ends.


After playing for the first time in the 1992 world cup, only in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup India and Pakistan couldn’t play against each other in this mega tournament. Well, they have to blame for that, as their Super Eight fixture was already fixed, but both the teams couldn’t make it. Pakistan lost to the hosts West Indies in the tournament opener by 54 runs in Jamaica. Then two rain-affected matches put them out of the tournament at the first stage. Pakistan lost to Ireland by three wickets (D/L method) and won against Zimbabwe by 93 runs (D/L method), which was not enough.

On the other end, India lost their opening game against Bangladesh by five wickets and then got much needed win against Bermuda with a massive margin of 257 runs. Their last group match against Sri Lanka became a must-win for both teams, but Sri Lanka came out as a better side by winning the game by 69 runs. Later Sri Lanka even played in the final of the tournament.

No matter how other teams play in ICC Cricket World Cup, since 1992, all eyes are always on India Vs Pakistan games. Because of the rivalry these two sides present, plus it gets more eyeballs and viewership on television. Emotions and commerce join hands when India and Pakistan play against each other in the world cup, played at any venue on the globe.



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