The India-Pakistan rivalry has produced some riveting cricket for the fans, but, there is a flip side to it. Both sides have to take a lot of pressure before and after the game. Since emotions run high during these games, it creates a pressure cooker scenario for almost everyone involved. However, nothing can beat the stress faced by the captain of the side.
If the team ends up on the losing side, then they have to go through a plethora of questions- either by media or fans. Social media doesn't know the art of forgetting; memes related to India's defeat in the Champions Trophy are still on display and act as a reminder to those painful moments for the Indian fans.
Whenever a player captains his side during Indo-Pak clash, every move that he makes on the field is viewed through a magnifying glass. The word forgiveness loses its relevance when one talks about conceding defeat to arch-rivals. A captain who can inspire his team to handle the pressure well- invariably ends up on top, as most of these matches are decided during the nervy moments.
Looking at the Indian side, many captains have been on display during these marquee clashes. Let us take a look at those who have been the best performers amongst them:
#5 Mohammad Azharuddin (Winning percentage- 36%)
Azhar was a very subdued captain. He seldom imposed his personality over the team. His tenure as an Indian captain was not a remarkable one, but, it was not the worst either. During his tenure, India won a lot of games at home, but their overseas record was abysmal.
He was the captain when India, who were one of the favourites to win the 1996 World Cup (which they hosted), crashed out during the semi-final stage.
Azhar captained India during 174 ODIs. Under his leadership, India faced Pakistan on 25 occasions and won 9 times. It was a redemption period for India after the mind block created by that famous Javed Miandad six, which resulted in a long losing streak against Pakistan.
#4 Sachin Tendulkar (Winning percentage- 38%)
Captaincy was one grey area during his otherwise illustrious career. He was billed to be a great captain during the early days of his career, but he flattered to deceive. Sachin could never earn that respect as a captain as he gained as a batsman. India's performance under Sachin's leadership was average, to say the least.
Sachin captained India in 73 ODIs. During his tenure, India faced Pakistan on 21 occasions and came out victorious 8 times.