There is no dearth of top-quality innings in the seven-decade long cricketing rivalry between India and Pakistan. Finding the ‘underrated’ names, however, becomes a challenge: how can you retain that tag after performing in one of the fiercest rivalries sport has known? Here is what we could find…

Hemu Adhikari (81) and Ghulam Ahmed (50), Delhi 1952/53

Batting first, India were 263-9 in the first ever Test match between the sides, in Delhi in 1952/53, when Ghulam – an outstanding off-spinner but, really, a No.11 – joined No.8 Adhikari. They added 109, which remained India’s only hundred-run partnership for the last wicket for over half a century. Pakistan slumped to an innings defeat.

Deepak Shodhan (110), Calcutta 1952/53

India were reduced to 179-6 after bowling out Pakistan for 257 later in that series when debutant Shodhan added 86, 54, 38, and 40 for the last four wickets to take India to 397. Shodhan himself scored 110, still the highest score by an Indian (and the fifth-highest overall) to score a Test hundred from No.8 or below on Test debut. Shodhan played only two more Test, but his average of 60.33 remains the best among retired Indian cricketers.

Surinder Khanna (56), Sharjah 1984

A win would have helped India win the match against Pakistan and clinch the inaugural edition of the Asia Cup. Wicketkeeper Khanna got a quick 72-ball 56 at the top on a difficult pitch, helping India put up 188-4 and win by 54 runs. Khanna was named both Player of the Match and Player of the Tournament, but his international career would not outlast that year.

Manzoor Elahi (50*), Sharjah 1986

West Indies had already won the league-only Champions Trophy, but India v Pakistan – the last match of the tournament – turned out to be a low-scoring classic. After India recovered from 42-5 to reach 144, Pakistan were well placed at 51-0 before they collapsed to 66-6. But Elahi, the man whom Imran Khan had predicted great things of, got a 54-ball 50 not out to see Pakistan home.

Saleem Yousuf (41), Bangalore 1986/87

After four excruciatingly boring draws, the organisers decided to break the stalemate by preparing a pitch that turned square in the first session. Maninder Singh took 7-27 as Pakistan were bowled out for 116, but India managed only a 29-run lead. Pakistan were 184-7 when Yousuf arrived. Imran fell at 198, but Yousuf handled spin beautifully on a pitch where batting had been reduced to a lottery. He added 59 for the ninth wicket with Tauseef Ahmed; Pakistan won by 16 runs.

Saleem Yousuf (62), Sharjah 1990

That man Yousuf again, this time promoted to the top in an Austral-Asia Cup match. Riding on his 62 – the only score in excess of 40 for his team – Pakistan put up 235-9 before Waqar Younis ran bowled out India for 209.

Zahid Fazal (98 retired hurt), Sharjah 1991/92

Pakistan became 10-2 in the Wills Trophy final when Fazal dropped anchor in the sapping heat of Sharjah. He hit six fours and a six in his 98 before he had to retire with cramps. After a blitz from Saleem Malik, Aaqib Javed stole the show with a hat-trick and the best ODI figures (7-37) until that point.

Yasir Hameed (98), Peshawar, 2004

The five-match series was level 1-1, and Pakistan restricted India to 244-9 in the third ODI. The Indian fast bowlers hit back, reducing Pakistan to 65-4, but local man Hameed stayed put. He saw off Irfan Pathan, L Balaji, and Zaheer Khan on a slightly uneven pitch before playing some delightful drives to lay the platform for the chase.

Imran Farhat (101), Lahore 2004

At Multan, India had won a Test match in Pakistan for the first time, but at Lahore, they were bowled out for 287. Pakistan still needed the runs, and Farhat led the response with a solid hundred at the top. Mohammad Yousuf also scored a hundred, and Pakistan levelled the series.

Nasir Jamshed (106), Kolkata, 2012/13

The Eden Gardens pitch seemed easy to bat on when Jamshed (106) and Mohammad Hafeez (76) were together. It was far from that, which can be exemplified by the end-of-innings scores: Pakistan 250, India 165.

Mohammad Nawaz, Dubai, 2022

India had got 181-7 in the Asia Cup Super Fours match, but at 63-2 in the ninth over, Pakistan were in danger of letting the asking rate get out of hand. Nawaz hit a four and two sixes inside eight balls. By the time he fell for a 20-ball 42, Pakistan were back on track.