Junio 24, 2017

Amir fit for Champions Trophy final

18 Junio 2017, 12:34 | Gerardo Tarin

It's not just cricket: Indo-Pak rivalry transcends sport

Pakistan's team celebrates after winning the Asia Cup one-day international cricket tournament against India in Dhaka Bangladesh. Pakistan won by 1 wicket

This is India, though, and Pakistan will have to banish the demons of defeats past: in the last six matches in ICC events, it is India which has triumphed.

Pakistan will summon up the spirit of Imran Khan's "cornered tigers" as they attempt to complete their remarkable Champions Trophy journey by upsetting India in what could be the most watched cricket match of all time.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a CAB first division league match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, Saha said: "India are overall favourites in every department".

Thanks to that, India are on their way to getting to the target and try as Pakistan may, they just can't stop the batting team from clinching the title.

The 2017 Champions Trophy for them has been a sort of similar tale.

Against England, they demonstrated that they could get the ball to reverse swing early, and on a grippy Cardiff surface knocked the host out.

To get a scale of just how big the occasion is, when the two teams met in the 2015 World Cup, in what was just a preliminary game, an estimated worldwide audience of one billion people tuned in.

"If we focus on our skills and our abilities and believe in ourselves, we'll give ourselves a chance to do some good things". Leading up to the tournament, his presence in the eleven was questioned by many, yet he has once again displayed that he is a strong character who makes a genuine effort to adapt to different situations in a match.

"One of the keys to winning big games is each player being able to disregard all the outside distractions and focus on his role in the team".

"But [now] on the biggest stage it is India v Pakistan".

"The final overs usually involve a lot of pressure and especially if you are playing against India".

Then, Junaid Khan almost picks up Kohli as well, inducing the outside edge of the India captain with a ball that was slanted across, but Babar Azam, in the slips, drops the catch, failing to hold on, moving to his right.

"On their day they can beat any side in the world", said Kohli of Pakistan.

India, however, does have an upper hand since Pakistan usually is on the losing side against India in ICC tournaments.

Pakistan received a boost on Saturday when Mohammad Amir, who missed their shock semi-final win over England with back spasms, took a full part in training and was passed fit. "In the PSL we're getting all our top players rubbing shoulders with some of the best players around the world, so that is rubbing off on our cricket now, where certainly there had been a void for a period of time".

"You can't think of those things when you step on to the field", said Kohli. "The guys are under no illusion as to what the expectation is on them, but they're genuinely excited", said Arthur. Whatever the result, we have to go forward and play more games after. "We've practiced the same way from the first day we came here".

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