India extended their impeccable head-to-head World Cup record against Pakistan to eight wins with a convincing victory in Ahmedabad on Saturday. Although India’s dominance against their arch-rivals is well-known, the way they played in front of a home crowd, estimated to be more than 100,000, was a display of utter dominance.
Of eight India v Pakistan World Cup contests, this was the most lopsided. India reduced the visitors to 191, taking the last eight wickets for just 36 runs, and chased the target in 30.3 overs.
In World Cups, India have won six matches against Pakistan while batting first, with an average winning margin of 54 runs, and two while chasing – with 26 balls remaining in Centurion in 2003 and 117 balls left in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
The Net Run Rate difference in Ahmedabad was 2.475, the highest in any of the eight matches between the two rivals. Interestingly, the previous biggest NRR difference was in the previous game in Manchester in 2019.
Biggest NRR difference in India v Pakistan World Cup matches
A lop-sided rivalry
There is a vast disparity between the two teams in both the batting and the bowling departments.
Across eight World Cup matches, India batters have scored 1979 runs at an impressive average of 40.38; Pakistan, meanwhile, have struck 1629 runs at an average of 22.62.
India batters have scored two centuries – Rohit Sharma in 2019 and Virat Kohli in 2015 – compared to the one by Pakistan (Saeed Anwar in 2003).
Pakistan, traditionally known for their bowling prowess, haven’t done much with the ball either; their bowlers have taken 45 wickets, which is 23 less than India’s 68.
Pakistan, however, have claimed two five wicket-hauls – by Wahab Riaz in 2011 and Sohail Khan in 2015 – whereas India have one, by Venkatesh Prasad in 1999.
On Saturday, India captain Rohit Sharma scored 86 off 63 balls against Pakistan with the help of six sixes, which took his career tally to 303 sixes in ODIs. He is only the third batter in the world, and first from India, to hit 300 sixes in ODIs.
Rohit likes playing against Pakistan; in his last five innings against them in ODIs, he has accumulated 404 runs at an average of 101.00 and a strike rate of 110.38.
The 36-year-old is also the only India batter to hit six sixes against Pakistan in a single World Cup match.
No Pakistan maximums
While India hit eight sixes – six by Rohit and two by Shreyas Iyer – Pakistan batters didn’t hit any maximums in their entire innings. It was only the second time, after Centurion in 2003, that Pakistan’s innings finished against India in a World Cup without a six.
Pakistan also stretched their unwanted record of not hitting a single six in the first Powerplay in ODIs this year. They have batted 1082 balls in the first 10 overs across 19 ODIs this year and haven’t cleared the boundary once. Of 22 teams who have played men’s ODIs in 2023, Pakistan are the only team without a six in the first overs.
The spin web
The triggering factor behind Pakistan’s batting collapse – where they lost eight wickets for 36 runs for their worst eight-wicket collapse in their World Cup history – was the miserly bowling by India spinners.
Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja bowled a combined 19.5 overs, took four wickets and conceded just 73 runs.
Prolific left-arm wrist-spinner
Kuldeep Yadav, who rattled Pakistan’s middle-order with two wickets in one over, is now the most prolific left-arm wrist-spinner with 157 wickets in ODI cricket. He went past Australia’s Brad Hogg, who has 156 wickets.
It was the second time this year that Yadav got the better of Pakistan’s batting lineup. Last month, in the Asia Cup match in Colombo, he took five wickets for 25 runs.
Yadav has 38 wickets in 2023, the most in ODIs among the players of the 10 teams participating in the 2023 World Cup.