Breda: Arguably the biggest sporting rivalry in the history of Hockey has been that of India and Pakistan. The neighbors have always promised high paced, high tempo, and aggressive display of skills. The stakes are always high and the crowd is always on its feet! The much-awaited match between Pakistan and India will be held on the 23rd of June, and will be the inaugural match of the Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy!
India (world no. 6) has been the dominant Asian side in the world of hockey in recent times. The Asian number one side is currently the Asian Games Champion, Asia Cup Champion, and the Asian Champions Trophy champion. India is yet to win the FIH Hockey Champions Trophy, however, it enjoys a large pool of trophies which includes five Olympic Gold Medals (since 1948), 1 World Cup, 3 Asia Cups, 3 Asian Champions Trophies, and 5 Sultan Azlan Shah Cups.
Pakistan, currently ranked 13 in the world, is the number two Asian ranked team. Pakistan has won the Champions Trophy thrice with the most recent victory in 1994. Pakistan also has 3 Olympic Gold Medals, 4 World Cups, 3 Asia Cups, 2 Asian Champions Trophies, 8 Asian Games Gold Medals and 3 Sultan Azlan Shah Cups under its belt.
In terms of head to head challenges, India has dominated Pakistan in recent times, winning 7 out of their last 11 fixtures. Pakistan won against India in the final of the South Asian Games and the semi-final of the 2014 hero Champions Trophy. India, on the other hand, defeated Pakistan twice in the Hero Asia Cup 2017, twice in the 2016 Men’s Asian Champions Trophy including the final, and also in the Round Robin tie of the 106 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
The most famous clashes of the two sides have been in the Olympics. The two have faced each other three times in the gold medal match, in which India has won twice.
In the Champions Trophy, the two teams have faced each other 18 times. Pakistan has won 8 times, while India has won 7 times. The stats are indeed too close to predict the results of the upcoming game, but one thing for sure, it will be a cracker!
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