Recalling his famous cricket battles against India, former Pakistan allrounder Imran Khan pointed out how he used to spot fear in the eyes of the Indian captain when the two teams would play each other back in the 1980s. In the late 80s and for most of the 90s, the two sides squared-off on neutral venues such as Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and in Toronto, Canada with Pakistan enjoying more wins than India.

In fact, such was Pakistan’s domination that despite India’s string of wins over them in the last decade, the scoreline stands 73-55 in ODIs in favour of the 1992 World Cup winners. For Pakistan, the golden era was defined by the likes of Imran, Javed Miandad and others as they won 23 times in 52 matches with India winning only 10. The trend followed in the 1990s as out of the 48 matches played, Pakistan led 28-18.

“In our days, I used to feel sorry for the Indian team. We used to beat them so often they used to be under a lot of pressure (against Pakistan). When I used to go to toss with their captain, I would look at his face and there would be fear,” Imran said at a recent public event.

The next decade, the 2000s, the two teams went neck and neck, with Pakistan edging India 25-23, before India emerged the stronger side between 2010 and 2020, beating their arch-rivals 10-4 with no draws on tie. This include three World Cup wins in 2011, 2015 and 2019 (taking their overall World Cup tally to 7-0) and a 6-1 scoreline in T20Is.

Imran added that during his playing days, Pakistan treated West Indies as their primary rivals, although he acknowledged that India are a far more superior side now. “Our rivals in those days weren’t India. Now, India has become a much better team than us. In our time, West Indies was the greatest team,” he said.