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Who are India’s top cricket rivals?
Dec 7, 2021, 3:49:00 AM

Who are India’s top cricket rivals?

India’s success over the years has also earned them a lot of rivals, and they have led to countless intense matches. This makes India a fun team that fans always look forward to watching and these rivalries will push for more significant games.

Perhaps the biggest battles that India has seen made them a formidable team to beat, and they did a great job to show that they can win. The Men in Blue have raised the bar when it comes to their matches and most of their rivals had a tough time in winning against them.

Rivalries showed cricket fans that there is always a lot to expect from their favourite teams. Perhaps it was India’s grit that paved the way for more success in their games and that means a lot for the fans as well. No one can deny the fact that the Men in Blue has been a beast and have thrived so much in the past few years as well.

India is a top team in cricket, so it would be normal to see some of the top battles that the team has to face. They have been grinding hard to get a lot of wins in tourneys, and the Men in Blue have found mixed results but have stayed on par against the best teams in cricket.

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Pakistan

The India-Pakistan rivalry is one of the top sports rivalries in the whole world. Aside from the tight games that they have played, the hostile diplomatic relations of the two nations also play a huge role in their rivalry.

The bitter relationships and conflicts that came all the way back from 1947 soon led to the Indo-Pakistani Wars and the Kashmir conflict. It also laid the foundations for the rise of an intense sports rivalry between two teams that shared a common cricket heritage.

The two sides first played in 1952 when Pakistan made a tour in India. Since then, Tests, limited overs, and many other series have been played. While political factors have led to some tours being cancelled, no one can deny the fact that the rivalry was a huge hit among many cricket fans all over the world.

Over the years, the Shaheens and the Men in Blue have tourneys being played on neutral venues, which led to some of the best matches as well. This says a lot about the intense rivalry on display as there was a high viewer tally in their matches.

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England

The India-England rivalry is one of the oldest rivalries in cricket. There are a lot of great games between the two sides and every tour is a strong battle to watch. This made the rivalry popular to the point that it matches the same intensity as the India-Pakistan rivalry.

There are a lot of memorable games for this rivalry, and lots of legends have been made supreme thanks to the success of the two teams. From Bhagwath Chandrasekhar’s great spell all the way to the exploits of the likes of Sir Ian Botham, Graham Gooch, Virat Kohli, Alastair Cook, and Kevin Pietersen, the rivalry has never gotten old. 

While it is not the same as the Ashes, the India-England rivalry still stands as one of the top rivalries that every fan awaits. The huge success of the rivalry made it a highlight thanks to the intense level of play that both squads offer in each battle.

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Australia

The India-Australia rivalry was seen as the intense matchup that fans wanted to see thanks to the mutual respect that both teams have for each other. There are many rivalries born out of hate or spite, but this one is all about respect and success for both sides.

The Men in Blue have always been a menace in their games, and so does Australia. Most of India’s trips to the Down Under have been all about winning so far, but the rivalry has never taken a wild shift or turn of events which makes it a bright series to watch.

The rivalry even led to the rise of the Border-Gavaskar trophy - a Test series between the two teams and is played every two years. As of January 2021, India holds the trophy after beating Australia in two Tests to one with one drawn match. 

This Test series is named after two of the best captains for both sides, Australia's Allan Border and India's Sunil Gavaskar. The two skippers shaped the rivalry over the years and made it popular as well.

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West Indies

For starters, West Indies was seen as a fierce rival for India back then. The team made life hard for the Men in Blue and it was all about proving that they are the better squad with a little bit of trash talk. This was seen over the years before the eventual decline of WI when India started to dominate the game.

India proved that they are the better team in this rivalry, and they were quick to show the rest of the world no one can topple them so easily. West Indies proved to be a challenge for India for a short while and they saw some of the tightest games ever played. 

West Indies did not lose a game in the Tests to India in the 1960s, which is a show of force and a huge feat against one of the best teams in the world. The 1970s soon came and India was already on the winning side, and it was all thanks to Sunil’s early rise in his games for the Men in Blue.

India’s success says a lot about their rivalries, and it proves that the Men in Blue are a force to be reckoned with. They have proved their worth so much and this is what makes them a top team to root for.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA