Wounded Pakistan look to overcome India for final glory

On pure cricketing logic, Pakistan are no match for Virat Kohli's men, who have some of the best exponents of limited overs cricket. It won't be a thing of a surprise if we say that prices of TV ads are likely to go higher during the match, which eventually would benefit the broadcaster to a great extent.

The India captain and world's No.1 ODI batsman wants to avoid any potential social media distractions which might stop his men focusing fully on retaining the ICC Champions Trophy.

Pakistan will aim to defy the odds and beat India when the two fierce rivals meet at The Oval in what promises to be a pulsating ICC Champions Trophy final, which is expected to be watched by over a billion people on Sunday. "We are excited to be playing in the final and we'll treat this as any other knockout game", the Pakistan skipper said.

He said: "That game has no relevance now". We caught up with Team India and Karnataka cricketer KL Rahul, who has been sidelined after undergoing a shoulder surgery earlier this year, to find out what will be going through the cricketers' minds, his predictions, plans for watching the match and more.

"But (now) on the biggest stage it is India v Pakistan". In recent years the Pakistan side has been more venerable than numerous past and that still applies even after the retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. "But exposure to high-pressure situations is what India have had above Pakistan".

"We have changed nothing from the first match that we played in this tournament".

Pakistan were battered by India in 1992 also when Imran's boys were guilty of an abject surrender chasing India's modest 216 and getting skittled out for a paltry 173. "Obviously, if you reach the finals you have to play some good cricket and credit to them, they've turned around things for themselves really well". When he bowls well, it is a total relief for me as a captain because he can get you couple of wickets and seven-eight good overs.

Had Pakistan fielders not dropped Sachin Tendulkar four times in the 2011 World Cup semifinals, the story could have been different, India going on to win the title at home.

"No team in the tournament is guaranteed a victory as whichever team performs on that day will win".

And the pace attack of Mohammed Amir, the tournament's leading wicket-taker Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan and Rumman Raees have the ability to rewrite history.

Prior to this summer's Champion's Trophy, Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel told reporters that India would not play Pakistan in any future non-tournament fixtures, while cross-border "terror from Pakistan" remains.

They last played a bilateral series in 2012-13, when Pakistan toured India for two Twenty20 games and three one-day internationals.

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav. Pakistan had a decent start with Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali slidind in with 47-run partnership but regular loss of wickets saw Pakistan fall short of the target in a rain abrupting match as they were wraped out for 164.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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