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India-Pak Statistics
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India-Pakistan at World Cup Hockey (2/14/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Recently, the hockey stadium in Dhaka came to a stand still. Both the teams on the turf lost their control, a free for all scene enacted. Even entry of about 30 policemen could not control the things.

It was the final of the South Asian Federation Games. Teams involved were India and Pakistan. Not their senior national teams but their development ones. Even then the fire was conspicuous. No issue whether the title at stake is big or the teams are juniors or other side. Everything comes for stake once the India-Pakistan get down on the hockey turfs.

Two years ago, in the Junior Asia Cup at Hyderabad, the same happened. If it can happen at junior levels, imagine what happens at senior platforms. Thrills -- and thrills only.

So, if its India and Pakistan, the fire will be there. This is for sure

The gifted hockey neighbours fought pitched battles for hockey supremacy, every time they met, everywhere they met. Whether it is the final of the Olympics – thrice in the past – or the 11th place decider in the World Cup, no quarter was given or taken. India – Pakistan is not another match. It is THE match of any tournament.

They have played about 140 matches so far, each has its own imprint and impact. Its own stories of heroism or otherwise.

The two lions did not meet in the World Cup after that disastrous day in London. The teams that shared 80 percent of Olympics Gold at that time of history, fought for 11th and 12th positions in London. That is a different story, though it would not dilute any of the intensity that goes between these two teams.

undefined After 22 years, after that tragic London day, India-Pakistan will meet now at the World Cup. Now at Delhi, in their first match of the World’s Best Hockey Stadium, named after a hockey legend, Dhyan Chand.

Between 1986 and now, in the 22 years interregnum, both teams have played about 80 matches more. That is only numbers. The match that will now be counted, and will be told to generations to come, is the one slated for 28th February.

But history says another thing. Unlike now, in the first 23 years since Pakistan came into being, there had been hardly any meetings between the two – just 10.

10 matches in 23 years is a number that must bemuse us, because these two were great teams, and they hardly played each other. That was because the enormity of the results that came to bear upon on the psyche of the population. They met rarely and wherever it was inevitable. Therefore, the tenth encounter between the rival has its own significance.

Their tenth match was played at Barcelona on 22nd October 1971. The occasion: Semifinal of the first World Cup. India lost. Two years later the losers extracted a sweet revenge, defeating Pakistan in the semis, striker BP Govinda doing an encore.

Having levelled the scores with a semifinal win and loss record, they met two years later. It was the final of the World Cup at Kuala Lumpur. India was the winner, we will read those moments of joy in some other sections. Then came the two teams’ last meeting at London.

The statistics of India – Pakistan at World Cup is simple and forthright.

Matches played : Four
India won: Two
Pakistan won: Two
Indian Goals: Six
Pakistan Goals: Six
All victory margin: Single goal

Often it is said statistics concede more than what it reveals. The statistics given above begs an exception. Anything related to India-Pakistan hockey is exceptional.

Now let us see what is in store at the Hero Honda FIH World Cup. The D-Day is Sunday, the 28th February 2010.

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February 28 India vs Pakistan-India will win this one...
by Bala Bkrishnamurti on 2/23/2010 12:27:10 AM
There are a number of reasons I say this. It is our time. It is our place. It is our World Cup. We may have lost to Pakistan in the last two recent encounters- but consider what was at stake in those two meetings- one was a minor tournament in May and the more recent one was at the Salta Challenge in Argentina- in the semi-finals. That was India's only loss in the entire tournament. The next day we went on to beat the hosts Argentina and win the Bronze medal. Ranked 13th in the world, India came in 3rd behind the sixth (NZ) and seventh(Pakistan) ranked nations in the hockey playing world. We convincingly beat Canada- ranked higher (at 12th place) than us 6-0- that too at an away series-in Canada. Indian hockey is on the ascendant- we are playing at home, in front of hugely partisan and vociferous home crowds- with hundreds of millions more watching on Doordarshan TV and tensports TV. The atmosphere will be electric, the support will be overwhelming, every body move, feint or dodge by a Tushar Khandekar or Prabhjot will be cheered wildly, and every challenge won will be evidenced by huge roars from the crowd. Don't think this does not energize the players. Anybody who has played the game at any level can understand that. India will win. It will defeat Pakistan on February 28 and put the demons to rest- at least for now. It is our time. It is our place. And it is our World Cup to win or lose.
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