India v/s Pakistan - From Dull Draws To Excitement
The title of this piece is enough to encapsulate
the history of Test cricket between the traditional
It all started with negative, tedious,
safety-oriented cricket. India and Pakistan played
their first Test series against each other in
1952-53. The first four decades of Test cricket -
the 50s, 60s, 70s and the 80s - witnessed as many
as 33 draws out of 44 Tests, a whopping percentage
of 75. Of the ten series played by the two
countries in the four decades, as many as five
(50%) ended in a complete stalemate with neither
team winning even one Test (1954-55, 1960-61,
1983-84, 1984-85, 1989-90).
Cricket's biggest rivalry
In fact, the countries played 13 consecutive draws
from the fourth Test of the 1952-53 series right
upto the first Test of the 1978-79 series.
Contrast this with the last two Test series between
the two countries. India and Pakistan played a
two-Test series in India in 1998-99 and an
additional Test that was part of the Asian Test
Championship. The Test series was tied 1-1 and
Pakistan won the Asian Test Championship game. All
three matches ended in results.
The Indians struck back in Pakistan last year by
winning two and losing one of three Tests.
Thus, the previous six Tests between the
traditional rivals have ended in results.
CLOSE FINISHES - PAKISTAN ON TOP
Three Tests between India and Pakistan have had
close finishes, and Pakistan have won all three of
Bangalore, 1986-87: The two teams ended a sequence
of eleven consecutive draws with a thriller of a
Test that Pakistan won by only 16 runs. Pakistan
scored 116 in their first innings and 249 in the
second. Sunil Gavaskar played a tremendous innings
on a wicket with eccentric bounce to take India to
the brink of victory. He scored 96 in an innings
that lasted for 323 minutes, and completed 2000
runs against Pakistan. However, India fell short by
16 runs. The second-highest contributor in India's
innings was 'Mr. Extras', who contributed 27.
Pakistani spinners Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmed
claimed four wickets each in a combined total of
82.5 overs, and foiled India's pursuit of a target
At Chennai , 1998-99 : The first Test between the
two teams in nine years was another tantalizing
tussle in which Pakistan registered a 12-run
triumph . A nail-biting finish saw India slump to
82-5 in chase of a target of 271. Sachin Tendulkar
( 136 ) and Nayan Mongia ( 52 ) then added 136 for
the sixth wicket . Mongia fell, but Tendulkar kept
going despite a back-strain. India needed only 17
to win when Sachin holed out to Akram at mid off.
The last three wickets could add only four runs!
At Kolkata , 1998-99 : India were set a target of
279. Openers S. Ramesh ( 40 ) and V.V.S.Laxman ( 67
) provided a good start, but wickets kept falling
at regular intervals thereafter. None of the
batsmen could cross the 25-run barrier. Earlier,
opener Saeed Anwar carried his bat through for 188
runs in the second innings, contributing 60 per
cent of a total of 316. Indian paceman Javagal
Srinath gave a lion - hearted effort with figures
of 5-46 and 8-86 from 46 overs in the match .
Despite the losses, Indians won the Man of the
Match awards in all three games - Gavaskar in
1986-87, Tendulkar in 1998-99 and Srinath at
Kolkata the same year ( shared with Saeed Anwar ) .
Decade wise details of India - Pakistan test
Ind , Pak
Pak , Ind
Pak , Ind