One day to go for the most anticipated clash of Asia Cup 2023. India set to face Pakistan on Sri Lankan soil after 13 long years. Till now they have faced each other three times, winning one match each and one got washed out. On Saturday, they’ll relive the atmosphere once again.
Indian batters have performed decently in those two matches. The likes of top order batters have the most runs. Sachin, Gambhir, Dhoni among few the names to top chart this list. Three matches were played in three different stadiums. In 2004, India lost the match in Colombo whereas they defeated Pakistan in Dambulla in 2010.
From the current squad, only three players Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja have experience of batting at least once. Though things have changed a lot since then. Currently, Pakistan are the top ranked ODI side and their pace bowling attack is fearsome. It’ll be interesting to see how Indian batters will react.
Top 5 India Batters Who Made an Impact in India-Pakistan Clashes in Sri Lanka
5. Irfan Pathan
Former Indian all rounder Irfan Pathan makes entry into the list with his 38 off 75 balls. It’s the only match he played against Pakistan in Sri Lanka. The 10th match of that edition was famous for Shoaib Malik’s all-round show. Pakistan went on to defeat India by 59 runs.
Irfan started the match quite well with the ball. From producing the first breakthrough to getting two wickets in the end, he bowled his heart out. But the job wasn’t done for him, India needed a big batting contribution from him. Coming to bat at number seven, he held a partnership of 63 runs with Sachin Tendulkar.
He rarely got going and struggled to rotate the strike as well. It mounted pressure on Sachin and also the recurring pressure was magnum. They needed a miracle to win from that situation, which did not happen. It was a decent effort from Irfan who did not have much to offer on that occasion.
4. Sourav Ganguly
‘Prince of Calcutta’ Sourav Ganguly played two Pakistan matches in Sri Lanka much like Sachin Tendulkar. He was captaining the side batting at number three. After losing the toss earlier in the day, Sourav and his boys fielded first. They ended up conceding 300 runs, back then it used to be a rare occasion.
Dada did not take long time to arrive at the crease as opener Virender Sehwag got out early. There he joined Sachin Tendulkar at the crease. Fans had high hopes from this batting pair, as they are one of best batting partners even now. But that day their performance didn’t match to the expectations.
Though Dada started out pretty well. Finding the gaps against Shoaib Akhtar, Shabbir Ahmed were like his daily job. He was trying to optimize the powerplay advantage, he got few boundaries that way. The moment it looked they had developed a strong base, Sourav got out at 39 off 45 balls. But it was not enough contribution to make India win the match.
3. MS Dhoni
Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored a match winning fifty in the Dambulla ODI in 2010. It was a ‘revenge’ game for the men in blues after what happened in the Champions Trophy earlier that year. And like any other India Pakistan game it had a nail biting finish in the very last over.
India lost two wickets early and in walked Dhoni at number four. He joined Gautam Gambhir at the crease who was batting rock solid. At that time MS was among the top ranked ICC batters. He promoted himself up the order ahead of Rohit Sharma that day.
Dhoni played a supportive role to Gambhir, much like a second fiddle. He was rotating the strike quite well. He reached to his fifty with s six over mid wicket region of Akhtar’s bowling. But eventually he could not capitalize the start he got. Later India sealed the match with a famous six from Harbhajan Singh in the last ball.
2. Sachin Tendulkar
Former Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar was part of two Pakistan games in Sri Lanka. The first match in SSC ground of Colombo got washed out where he was captain himself. Then the next game came seven years later in Premadasa Stadium. This time he had to chase down a score of 301 runs.
But it was tough day for Tendulkar at work. He lost his opening partner in the second over of the chase. Post that, he had some consecutive partnerships with the following batters but never a big one. He was cruising through with singles and doubles. But from the other end wickets were falling apart.
India were down to 5 wickets for 151 runs on the board. From there on Sachin formed a partnership with Pathan. But they consumed too many balls leaving no option but to attack. Eventually Sachin got some boundaries but his innings ended when he was caught by Imran Nazir off Shoaib Malik . In the end, Pakistan handed over a big margin defeat of 59 runs to India.
1. Gautam Gambhir
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir tops the list in most run getter by an Indian batter against Pakistan in Sri Lanka. Gautam played in only one innings against one of his favourite opponents, Pakistan. The Asia Cup match was played at Dambulla in the year 2010. India was desperate to get a win here over Pakistan.
Pakistan set up 268 run target for their neighbor. Gambhir and his team mate Virender Sehwag were up for the task. But Sehwag got cramps making Gambhir cautious about his approach. He was taking time, no risk involved. Gambhir stayed rock solid from one end when batters were not comfortable facing from the other end.
Gambhir with his strong mindset was determined to stay till the end. He fought hard, ran quite well in between the wickets. Once Mohammad Amir dropped him off Shoaib Malik’s bowling. By then it was too late for him and Pakistan, as they already stitched a strong.