Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir ranked the India-Australia rivalry better than India vs Pakistan, saying that the current Indian side is head and shoulders above their neighbours.
The age-old rivalry between India and Pakistan has always garnered significant attention. It is referred to as one of the most intense sporting rivalries in the world. The two teams have produced some memorable and thrilling matches in the past. From Sachin Tendulkar’s famous 98 in the semi-final against Pakistan in 2003, to the T20 World Cup 2007 final, there have been some memorable closely-fought encounters in the past. However, the rivalry has not lived up to its billing in the recent past, with only a few matches like the one in Melbourne in 2022, producing sparks.
Gambhir, speaking on a show on Hotstar, highlighted that the tables have turned with India becoming the more dominant side in the recent past in their match-up against Pakistan.
“Pakistan has dominated India a lot of times. Currently, if you see the level of both teams, India is far superior to Pakistan in all three formats. If Pakistan defeats India it’s an upset, if India defeats Pakistan, it’s very much given,” Gambhir said.
India and Pakistan have not played bilateral cricket for over a decade now with their matches coming only in ICC and Asian Cricket Council events in the recent past. India boasts an unbeaten record against Pakistan in ODI World Cups. The Indian team further bettered their streak after winning the ODI World Cup 2023 match against Pakistan at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad in Ahmedabad.
The hype for the big-ticket contest went through the roof with travel and accomodation becoming more experinsive, but Inida comfortably dominated Pakistan on the field.
In the T20 World Cups as well, India had an unbeaten record of winning six matches against Pakistan. That changed in October 2021 when Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. India leads the T20 head-to-head record by 6-1.
Gambhir opined that the rivalry between India and Australia is at its peak and the intense on-field battles have added spice to the contest.
“India and Australia, from a cricketing point of view, is a top rivalry. If you ask a cricket fan what is the actual rivalry, they will also say India and Australia,” Gambhir added.
The two cricketing giants have produced some high-quality games over the years. The 2001 Border-Gavaskar series win by India is touted as one of the greatest-ever comebacks by the Indian team. The 2021 Test series win by the Ajinkya Rahane-led team was another comeback for the ages against all the odds. Virat Kohli became the 1st ever Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia after the 2018-19 series win.
However, this year India lost to Australia in the final of the World Test Championship and suffered a heart-breaking loss in the ODI World Cup final to Australia.