India vs Pakistan has produced lots of match-winners over the course of their rivalry, but there are those few players who were never expected to hit the winning runs or deliver the telling ball to derail a run-chase. And when they do, they go down in the history books to never be forgotten.

Joginder Sharma, Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Rajesh Chauhan may not have turned into legends, but they’ve all played important roles in helping India to nerve-wracking wins over their arch-rivals.

With the Champions Trophy primed for one more hopefully epic tie between the two countries, we take a trip down memory lane – reminding you of their unlikely heroics.

Joginder Sharma

Joginder was the ultimate MS Dhoni gamble – one that kick-started his reign as India’s most successful limited overs captain in terms of trophies. India were defending a total of 157 and Pakistan needed 13 from the last over to win the inaugural World T20 in Johannesburg. Misbah-ul-Haq was in the middle, but Pakistan had just one wicket left.

When Joginder was hit for six in the second ball of the over, Dhoni’s plan seemed set to backfire. But Joginder, who mixed up his pace, got the prized wicket in the very next ball, with S Sreesanth taking the catch at short fine-leg. India were the world champions – but Joginder never played for them again. 

Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Anyone remember Kanitkar? In case you don’t, then he was part of a ridiculously good and then world-record chase as India managed to usurp the 315-run target in 1998. Sourav Ganguly had scored 124 and Robin Singh 82 as the tone was set for a nail-biting finish in Dhaka.

As was the norm in those days, once the star batsmen were out, an Indian collapse followed. From 250-2 to 307-6, leaving Javagal Srinath and Kanitkar to play the final over. That’s when he hit a boundary in the penultimate ball of the match to finish an unbelievable chase. Remember, 300-plus scores were not a regular occurrence then. To chase it down, even rarer. That too, in a match reduced to 48 overs.

Rajesh Chauhan

Chauhan may not have caused ripples with his record of 47 wickets in 21 Tests and 29 wickets in 35 ODIs. But he has two notable achievements. First, that India never lost a Test with him in the side – which makes him a bonafide lucky charm. Second, that he hit a last-over six in the 2nd ODI in Karachi in 1997 – a six that turned the match around in favour of India, who were chasing 266 (in the stipulated 47.2 overs).

Chauhan, who had picked up the wickets of Saeed Anwar and Saleem Elahi in the 1st innings, scored only 8 from 3 balls, but smashed a six on the onside with India needing 8 to win from the final over – bowled by Saqlain Mushtaq. It was a six that will always be remembered.