Biggest game of the season today!
It’s IND Vs PAK final in an ICC event after a decade.
Virat Kohli and co. are “overwhelming favourites” who as we had said at the beginning of this tournament, are an extremely resourceful unit.
The top order comprising Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, has been imperious, and the bowling attack hasn’t failed to deliver the breakthroughs at the vital moments.
Their fielding had been abysmal in the first couple of matches, but the Men in Blue have improved in that department too over the last two matches.
On Thursday, the Indian frontline spinners failed to provide control and Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim threatened to take control of the semi-final, by putting together a 100+ partnership for the third wicket.
But Kohli turned to Kedar Jadhav and thanks to a touch of naivety and impatience from the Bangladeshi batsmen, India clawed their way back into the contest.
This was evidence of the versatility of Team India and why Pakistan have a monumental challenge of beating them to the Champions Trophy.
India vs Pakistan in Champions Trophy
The head-to-head stands at 2-2 following India’s win in the ongoing edition of this tournament. But all meetings so far have been in the group stage of this competition and Sunday will be the first time that India and Pakistan meet in the Final.
Records in Finals
Sunday’s Final will be India’s fourth of a global tournament in this decade and they have won two (the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2013) of the three played so far.
In this competition, India have reached their fourth Final (2000, 2002 and 2013), winning and losing one and the other being a washout.
Their opponents, on the other hand, are playing their first Final in eight years (the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 Final was the last). Pakistan will also be playing their first-ever Champions Trophy Final.
The fact that this team has plenty of new faces and they are an unfancied bunch can work either way.
1. Sarfraz Ahmed (c and wk), 2. Azhar Ali, 3. Fakhar Zaman, 4. Babar Azam, 5. Mohammad Hafeez, 6. Shoaib Malik, 7. Mohammad Amir, 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Shadab Khan/Raees/Fahim and 11. Junaid Khan
1. Virat Kohli (c), 2. Rohit Sharma, 3. Shikhar Dhawan, 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Kedar Jadhav, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Ravindra Jadeja, 9. Ravichandran Ashwin/Umesh Yadav/Mohammed Shami, 10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and 11. Bumrah
other vc: Malik, Azam (In team 2, you can go with any one of them as your vc)