Junio 24, 2017

Defending champions India face Pakistan in Champions Trophy final today

18 Junio 2017, 03:05 | Gerardo Tarin

Arthur is confident the India "aberration" is now behind Pakistan, who've also lost all three of their previous knockout matches at International Cricket Council tournaments against their fiercest foes.

Arthur confirmed Saturday that Mohammad Amir, who missed the semi-final with a back spasm, would return against India. But the unpredictability and never-say-die spirit of Pakistan cricket is here for all of us to celebrate again as we all await with bated breaths for what promises to be an epic clash at The Oval in London.

India have won their last two ODI matches against Pakistan. However, they are up against a disciplined and consistent team, India.

"The pressure is high for both sides and their is a dream final for the sponsors and the broadcasters", he added.

Before I dwell on Pakistan's strategy for the big match, I want to say that the final has given Sarfraz a God given opportunity of leaving a lasting legacy. While collective training and strategizing is all very fine, cricket can often be a lonely sport at times, making it imperative that players devise their own ways of getting, and staying, in the zone.

From appearing ordinary at the start to beating hosts England in the semifinals, Pakistan has gathered pace slowly and looks risky.

One can expect a cracker of a game on Sunday with the two arch-rivals facing each other for the second time in the tournament. Pakistan's bowling may have improved after their shambolic first game, but India's batting has been rock steady. And same will be the case today. Junaid Khan also sits in the top five wicket takers in the competition with seven to his name, whilst Muhammad Amir has been passed fit to play.

Pakistan lead 72-52 on the limited overs head-to-head in a fixture that grips not just the two nations but the whole globe.

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

There has always been a lot of hype associated with India-Pakistan matches.

With Amir back in harness, Pakistan will focus on their seam-bowling strength and try to expose an India middle order which has barely been needed while those further up the list have been piling up runs at an average of nearly 100 per wicket throughout. We went on to win that match.

Azhar Ali is a first over victim for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who gets one ball to just move away enough to take the outside edge through to Dhoni. He is quite an aggressive player and that has helped Pakistan get some quick runs at the top of the order. You can help the team come out of hard situations only if you're thinking in that fashion.

Wayward with the ball, sloppy with the bat and calamitous in the field; Sarfraz Ahmed's side looked like anything but a team that would share the final stage with the defending champions.

The weather is expected to remain mostly dry. However, isolated thunderstorm activity can not be ruled out but will not impact the play much.

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