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.
Going into the match, India would be high on confidence having comprehensively defeated their Asian neighbour by 124 runs in the group stage. "We've practised the same way from the first day we came here". Not to forget, the pacer fancies bowling to left-handed batsmen, just ask Soumya Sarkar of Bangladesh. Given the flat nature of wickets in the competition so far I don't see any threat for India.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav. 'But I don't think we've exceeded expectations at all.
All said and done, there is no doubt that it will be a cracker of a final, with Pakistan bolstered by the return of Mohd Amir who missed the semi-final against England.
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"Cricket's culture in Pakistan is dying since the new generation hasn't seen worldwide cricket being played in Pakistan", Dr. Nauman Niaz, direct of sports and syndication at Pakistan Television Corp., told the AP.More news: LeBron James reflects on the Cleveland Cavaliers' season
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"The final overs usually involve a lot of pressure and especially if you are playing against India". Cricketers from both the nations have opened up on India TV's show Aap Ki Adalat and have talked about the sentiments which run high on the pitch during these high-voltage matches. "Such a feat will encourage youth to take to the game and this feel good factor that cricket is able to create will have a positive impact on the psyche of the society".
On June 18, all streets of India and Pakistan will be empty as the most awaited match of the decade will be played at 3:00 PM (IST). The two teams are looking to have their best XI in this crucial match.
A staggering billion people are expected to tune in on television around the world for a final at The Oval that, unless you are an England fan, represents the dream conclusion to what has been a largely disappointing mini World Cup.
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. Some teams might not have the best start but they come back amazingly - which Pakistan have done.
India skipper Kohli: "I don't see any relevance of the first game here because you can never tell how a particular team starts a tournament".