India, Pakistan wary of each other

18 Juin, 2017, 07:39 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier
  • Mohammad Amir missed Pakistan's semi-final against England with back spasms / Getty

Now they will meet in the final at The Oval, with Pakistan hoping to continue a resurgence that has seen them win three straight games since a thrashing at India's hands in their first game of the tournament.

"That's how this game goes, and that's the beauty of this game", said Kohli when asked if Pakistan will be rattled by India's performance. "When things don't go well - and, unfortunately, for Virat as for anyone else, things don't always go well - he falls back on his intense commitment and works ever harder until he turns the corner and meets the excessively high expectations", concluded de Villiers.

Cricket captain Virat Kohli, who is leading the men-in-blue for the first time in a major International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament, wished his hockey counterparts the best ahead of the marquee clash.

Dhoni, who led India in the limited overs for over a decade, will be hoping to lift the trophy for the second time and add another chapter to his cricketing career. Mohammed Shami and Ajinkya Rahane, for instance, haven't played a single game in this ICC Champions Trophy, and unless injury strikes late, they won't either.

The match attracted 201 million viewers, double than the last edition of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.

"We have the bench strength", Mahmood said.

Pakistan's 60 per cent chances while India 40 per cent to win.

However, he added, "But I know India will also be wary".

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Amir, however, has once again become a mainstay of the Pakistan team since returning to the side early in 2016, appearing in 47 of the team's 57 matches across all global formats following his comeback. He captained the side in the rest of the matches.

Bets were riding high on the likes of Australia, England and South Africa to qualify for the final along with India.

Gautam Gambhir was the star for India scoring a quick 75 off just 54 balls, studded with eight fours and two sixes. However, after this match, Pakistan had a hegemony over India for many years, especially in matches held at Sharjah. "It's similar to bowling a length ball but the more you practice it, the better you get at it".

Pakistan's rejuvenation has been built around the runs of opener Fakhar Zaman and the experienced Azhar Ali while Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan stepped up to compensate for the absence of Amir who is expected to be fit for the final. A fresh pitch at The Oval will present a very different challenge against India's pedigree batting line-up, however.

But Pakistan can draw confidence from the fact that even England were favourites to lift the Cup on March 25, 1992, at the MCG.

Inzamam (60 off 37 balls) joined hands with Miandad (57 not out) to engineer an 87-run stand for the fifth wicket to stem the rot, while Zaman showed no big-game nerves to notch up a 58-ball 57 which eventually helped Pakistan sail through to the final easily.

"The top order of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been remarkable, looking in total control out in the middle".

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