ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Advantage India in high-stakes final


"That's how this game goes, and that's the beauty of this game", said Kohli when asked if Pakistan will be rattled by India's performance. "We've never spoken of the semifinal in any different way", the Indian skipper said.

"Sri Lanka batted exceptionally well there".

Former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar had tweeted: "we are already proud of you Pak team so go out there enjoy & be positive".

Indian wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni was seen in a picture holding Pakistani team Captain Sarfaraz's little cute son Abdullah.

With both teams is good form, this India vs Pakistan final has all the ingredients of a classic final.

Their confidence will be boosted by the fact that it was at The Oval where India suffered their only defeat of this tournament when Sri Lanka chased down a target of 322 to win by seven wickets. Defending champions India, who are playing the final of the tournament for the fourth time in the history, will be looking to win their record third title, as they look to create history. We've trained the same way. "I said it before the England game, if we put our "A" game together and do the basics well, we can beat anybody".

In openers Shikhar Dhawan (317 runs) and Rohit Sharma (304 runs), India have the tournament's top two run-getters, while skipper Virat Kohli isn't that far behind with 253.

I think it will be a very interesting game.

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Pressure could be the biggest threat to an India side who know that the bulk of those billion onlookers expect them to emulate the 2013 side who won the Champions Trophy by beating England at Edgbaston.

While the vast majority of those tuning in will be among the huge populations in India and Pakistan, not completely insignificant number are also likely to be watching from the United States.

"With the red ball, he was more circumspect and played more traditional Test innings where he waited for the bad ball so I had more success against him".

"We are totally confident that India will win".

As cricket enthusiasts all over world are anxiously waiting for the battle, an air of unusual excitement can be felt among young cricketers across the country as they wish the Indian players all the luck for today's match. Four matches concluded without any result. I think India have an upper hand going into the match.

Or will it be the slick, skilled side who hammered England by eight wickets in the semi-finals, with Hasan Ali, the competition's leading wicket-taker, spearheading a brilliant bowling effort as the previously unbeaten tournament hosts were dismissed for just 211 before the likes of Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman helped knock off the runs in dashing style? In the decades to follow, India's domination over Pakistan in ICC events would continue to grow.

All logic points to an Indian victory but nomadic Pakistan are never more risky than when they "cornered" and could provide a final twist to a tournament that has been blighted by bad weather and one-sided games.