Cricket, being one of the most popular sports in the world, has seen many intense cricket rivalries develop over the years. These rivalries have often resulted in highly anticipated and fiercely contested matches, capturing the attention of fans around the globe. Over the years, these rivalries have grown on the basis of the political and economic stand of the countries and the quality of players they produce every year. However, a healthy rivalry is important to survive in international cricket. If two teams have a ferocious rivalry between them, they will always try to improve their game and make sure that only talented players get to be part of the team.
We have compiled a list of rivalries that exist in international cricket right now and have entertained cricket fans every time they face each other on the ground.
1) India vs Pakistan Rivalry
The cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan is one of the most intense and storied in the history of the sport. It is a rivalry that extends beyond the cricket field and is deeply rooted in the political and cultural tensions between the two nations. Post 2008 Mumbai attacks, BCCI and the government of India announced that India won’t be playing any bilateral series with Pakistan and hence both teams only meet in the ICC tournaments. Because the matches are too less, the two teams always give their best whenever they face each other. The matches between India and Pakistan are eagerly anticipated by fans from both countries and often draw massive viewership and media attention.
2) England vs Australia Rivalries
One of the most historic rivalries in cricket is between England and Australia. Since the beginning of international cricket, England and Australia have met multiple times and the beginning of the Ashes is one of the examples of their historical rivalry. Matches between England and Australia are fiercely contested, and both teams have had periods of dominance. The rivalry is known for its intensity, with players from both sides giving their all on the field to secure victory. Greats like Don Bradman, Ian Botham, Shane Warne, and Andrew Flintoff have played pivotal roles in shaping the rivalry.
3) Sachin Tendulkar vs Glenn McGrath
The cricket rivalry between Sachin Tendulkar and Glenn McGrath was a captivating battle between two of the greatest players in the history of the sport. The technical genius – Sachin Tendulkar and a bowler with tight line and length – Glenn McGrath, faced each other on multiple occasions. The rivalry developed over the years and they both were responsible to bring the best out of each other. Both players engaged in mental battles and employed various tactics to gain an advantage. McGrath would consistently target Tendulkar’s off stump, testing his patience and technique, while Tendulkar tried to find gaps in the field and exploit any loose deliveries.
4) New Zealand vs Australia Rivalry
Over the years, New Zealand and Australia have developed an intense rivalry because of the quality of players they have in the team and their cultural differences being the neighbouring countries. Australia and New Zealand’s close proximity as neighbouring countries adds an extra layer of rivalry to their cricketing contests. The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand has been further highlighted in ICC Cricket World Cup matches. In the 2015 World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the two teams faced each other in a memorable final.
5) Shane Warne vs Sachin Tendulkar
The Warne–Tendulkar rivalry displayed the essence of cricket where two great players of the game came face to face and displayed a healthy contest. Warne, widely considered one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time, possessed exceptional skills in flight, turn, and deception. Tendulkar, on the other hand, was a batting maestro renowned for his technique, stroke play, and ability to play spin bowling. Even though the rivalry was so intense, both players displayed immense respect for each other, and over time, they developed a healthy friendship between them.