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18 Junio 2017, 12:19 | Gerardo Tarin
Pakistan players do a victory lap after knocking out Sri Lanka
Kohli insist the Pakistan side who broke England's hearts in a crushing semi-final victory are more unsafe than the team India beat at Edgbaston in the group stage.
In the Hockey World League semifinal Pool B game, Pakistan will face India who have had a better start to the tournament as compared to the Green Shirts. A local paper called it a match between the imperial might of India versus Pakistan's rag-tag band of rebels. "Whenever India and Pakistan clash, we have had law and order issues here", said an intelligence officer who wished to remain anonymous. "I said before the Edgbaston game, I thought they were really, really calm, but they're very, very excited now, and there's a hell of a good vibe in that dressing room". "It is bigger than the Ashes - and expectation is high from both nations, insane about cricket".
He admitted that the only way to stop Indian batting line-up is to get some early wickets so that their lower middle order is forced to spend some time in the middle - something which has rarely happened during the tournament.
"We haven't spoken about this game in any different way", captain Virat Kohli said. My humble advice to Sarfaraz is: "play to our strength; try & bat first & build a decent total".
The title holder India is the favorite for the trophy, which is fresh from two back to back dominant victories against South Africa and Bangladesh. "They have picked the right moment and bowlers to take runs off", said Gambhir. Exposure to highpressure situations is what India have had above Pakistan.The PCB has changed that a little bit now with the PSL as that exposes more and more young players to pressure situations.
"Some teams start tournaments very confidently and then they fade off".
But since then the Pakistani side have come a long way. On their day they can beat any side in the world.
"That's the kind of belief he has in his ability and we have that belief in him".
"We are quite aware of that but at the same time neither are we too intimidated nor are we too arrogant to what we are doing".
The neighbouring countries have moved on from years of political conflicts but emotions will run high as millions of supporters around the world watch the first major cricket final between the teams since the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup.
If India manage to clinch the victory at the Oval today, they will become the first team to win the Trophy three times and join Australia as the second team to defend the title.
Kohli announced to the press during the week that he had limited the use of social media within the camp during the competition, yet the internet is set to implode when these two sides collide in a much-anticipated contest set to raise the temperature further on one of the hottest days of the English summer.
"Honestly, it sounds amusing, but it's so important to stay away from those things, to connect to things that matter, the things that a sportsman needs to take care of".
India vs Pakistan cricket rivalry
Malik has had a quiet tournament by his standards but I expect him to come good on the big occasion. Some teams start confidently and then they fade.
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