Virat Kohli’s India begin the Twenty20 World Cup as one of the favourites and take on arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday.

India and Pakistan have enjoyed a storied rivalry in international cricket with the best of the games between the two teams coming in the shorter format of the game.

Pakistan have the upper hand in ODI cricket in terms of the head-to-head record but India have dominated the T20I contests.

India vs Pakistan head-to-head record

Format Matches played India won Pakistan won Draw/Tie/No Result
ODI 132 55 73 4
T20I 8 6 1 1

However, when it comes to World Cup cricket, India have won each of the 12 encounters between the two teams in the ODI as well as T20I format.

Ahead of yet another World Cup meeting, this time at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, here’s a look back at six memorable limited-overs matches between the Asian cricket giants:

IND vs PAK at ODI / T20I World Cups

Result Margin Opposition Ground Match date
India 43 runs ODI v Pakistan Sydney 4 Mar 1992
India 39 runs ODI v Pakistan Bengaluru 9 Mar 1996
India 47 runs ODI v Pakistan Manchester 8 Jun 1999
India 6 wickets ODI v Pakistan Centurion 1 Mar 2003
tied, India win bowlout - T20I v Pakistan Durban 14 Sep 2007
India 5 runs T20I v Pakistan Johannesburg 24 Sep 2007
India 29 runs ODI v Pakistan Mohali 30 Mar 2011
India 8 wickets T20I v Pakistan Colombo (RPS) 30 Sep 2012
India 7 wickets T20I v Pakistan Dhaka 21 Mar 2014
India 76 runs ODI v Pakistan Adelaide 15 Feb 2015
India 6 wickets T20I v Pakistan Kolkata 19 Mar 2016
India 89 runs ODI v Pakistan Manchester 16 Jun 2019

Last-ball six (April 18, 1986 - Sharjah)

Javed Minadad’s last-ball six at the desert venue still rankles in the memory of most Indian fans who were left heartbroken with Pakistan’s one-wicket win in a dramatic final.

Pakistan needed 246 to win and Miandad walked in at 61-3 to hit an unbeaten 116 off 114 balls.

With four needed off the final delivery, Indian fast bowler Chetan Sharma bowled a full toss and Miandad got the ball sailing into the crowd to trigger celebrations among the Pakistan fans.

The sight of him running back to the dressing room with his arm aloft after hitting the shot has not been forgotten by supporters on both sides.

Here’s how Miandad described the incident in his auto-biography Cutting Edge: My Autobiography:

“Poor Chetan Sharma. They say he did try for a yorker, but the ball slipped out of his hand. Or perhaps it was the fact that I was standing well forward of the batting crease that threw him off his length. Whatever the mysterious origins of that last delivery, it ended up being the perfect ball for me and for Pakistan - a full-toss at the right height, slightly towards leg, all I had to do was take a swing and it sailed out of the ground. After that, it was pandemonium. We had won, Pakistan had won, Tauseef had won, I had won. What a match! It is one of the best memories of my life.”  


Tendulkar rules (March 1, 2003 - Centurion)

Sachin Tendulkar has won many matches for India but his 98 against Pakistan at the 50-over World Cup remains special due his duel with speedster Shoaib Akhtar.

Tendulkar stood tall in his 75-ball knock that guided India in their chase of 274 against a Pakistan bowling line-up boasting Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Akhtar.

The Master Blaster uppercut one of Akhtar’s express deliveries to a delightful six over third man - a shot that became iconic in Tendulkar’s career.

Akhtar later got his revenge with Tendulkar’s wicket but the damage had been done.

Tendulkar rates this blistering innings as one of the best of his illustrious career.

“This was my day. From the beginning, I picked the ball up early. Sometimes you feel good from the start, sometimes you struggle but on that day there was so much time that balls close to 150 kmph looked like 130 kmph.”  


Bowl-out drama (September 14, 2007 - Durban)

The two rivals played out a thriller in the inaugural T20 World Cup as their group match ended in a tie. Pakistan ended on the same score - 141 - as India.

But India prevailed in an interesting bowl-out with five players on each side trying to hit the stumps at the other end while bowling.

Captain M.S. Dhoni chose his part time slow bowlers for the act and they hit their target everytime while Pakistan’s pace bowlers misfired.

The bowl-out was later discontinued for a super-over decider in case of tied finishes in the limited-overs format.

Speaking in the Rajasthan Royals podcast with New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi, Robin Uthappa who was one of the three Indian bowlers successful in the bowl-out recalled how India won the bowl-out that night.

“One of the things that MS [Dhoni] did really well, and that he did different from what the Pakistan ‘keeper did was, where he stood behind the stumps.

The Pakistan ‘keeper (Kamran Akmal) was standing where a WK usually stands. A few feet back and besides the stump — just alongside the stump. But MS was (sitting) right behind the stumps and that made it so much easier for us. We just had to bowl at MS and it gave us the best chance to hit the wickets. That’s all we did.”


Misbah heartbreak (September 24, 2007 - Johannesburg)

The teams again met in the final 10 days later for a heart-stopping finish at a packed stadium.

Pakistan faltered in their chase of 158 and slipped to 77-6 before Misbah-ul-Haq raised their hopes with a fighting knock that took the match into the final over.

Needing 13 off the final over off Joginder Sharma, Misbah hit a six on the second ball and then tried an audacious scoop shot that went high up and down into the hands of Shanthakumaran Sreesanth at short fine leg to break Pakistan hearts.

When the ball went up in the air, most people watching on TV felt that Misbah had managed to find the boundary but to the joy of several Indians, it felt nicely into Sreesanth’s hands.

Here’s captain Dhoni’s recollection of the moment.

“When I was watching the highlights on TV, I thought this is gone; this will go for a one-bounce four. 

But when Misbah played that shot, the ball went up in the air and I noticed that it was travelling at a slow pace. 

I then looked at Sreesanth who was standing at short fine-leg. Before the ball reached he fumbled thrice. I thought if he drops this, then I don’t know what will happen. 

But I feel easy catches in cricket are the most difficult ones because when you look at the ball everything comes to your mind. 

That’s why we say being in the present is so important. I feel that was one of the toughest catches.

Professor act (December 25, 2012 - Bangalore)

Pakistan’s only T20 victory against India came with a special effort from captain Mohammad Hafeez in the opener of a two-match series.

Chasing 143 for victory, Pakistan were in trouble at 12-3 when Umar Akmal departed for nought off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Hafeez, who is called ‘professor’ for his understanding of the game, then put on 106 runs with Shoaib Malik, who hit 57, as Pakistan won with two balls to spare.

India enjoy a head-to-head T20 count of 7-1 against Pakistan.


Zaman classic (June 18, 2017 - London)

Coming in as underdogs in the Champions Trophy final, Pakistan brought their A game to the table with Fakhar Zaman taking the game by storm with a sparling century.

Zaman’s 114 off 106 balls and a 128-run opening stand with Azhar Ali guided Pakistan to a mammoth 338 for four and deflated Virat Kohli’s team at the Oval.

The left-hander clobbered the Indian attack, including Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, hitting 12 fours and three sixes.

Pakistan’s bowlers then came firing and dismissed India for just 158.

However, that game was all about the coming of age of Zaman. This is how he recalled that match ahead of the meeting between India and Pakistan at the 2019 ICC World Cup.

“That no-ball made me. I had a dream before the final that I will be dismissed off a no-ball and it proved to be true. Initially I was very sad as I had promised my parents to do well in that match.

I was very lucky and ever since that century I have become famous.

But with that fame comes responsibility and I have become more mature and now I realise the importance of playing my part.”