Pakistan's Amir fit and plays in Champions Trophy final

Solenn Plantier
Juin 18, 2017

India who will play their second Champions Trophy final, will try to retain the title under new captain Virat Kohli.

And while he accepts India are "a fantastic team" who have the advantage of more "exposure to massive pressure situations", he is confident his side will not suffer a repeat of the big match nerves which appeared to afflict them in the earlier match. "We're now moving forward".

As they have done many times before, however, Pakistan suddenly found form with wins over top-ranked South Africa and Sri Lanka before delivering an outstanding all-round display to stun previously unbeaten hosts England in the semifinals. But we've got to look at our strengths, and our strength has been the fact that we've been able to take wickets consistently through the middle periods.

De Villiers, who has befriended Kohli through playing in the same Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the Indian Premier League, says the India skipper has mellowed down the years and the anger that sometimes surfaced has been replaced by a more jocular personality. "We came here very, very firmly of the opinion that we wanted to come here and win it and that has been our chat all the time", he said.

"If we can get amongst them with the new ball, we can expose the middle order that hasn't batted much in this competition - so that's pretty much our aim and focus".

"We have always had an upper hand vs Pakistan and I want them to play well so we can all celebrate after the match", Tendulkar told India Today in an exclusive chat. They will probably go into the game as favourites. "We have been a formidable package", Tendulkar said.

Hasan Ali has starred with the ball for surprise package Pakistan, who, like India, will be roared on by a boisterous crowd on what is expected to be a hot day. There's no overexcitement. People are just doing the normal things that they do in any practice session. "We are sure they will be answered this time also", he added.

"The India game was an aberration", he said. Nearly all of them, but if I had to pick a few, then it would be the test match in Chennai in 1999, followed by both our games at the 2007 T20 World Cup.

"I think one of the differences between the sides has been exposure", Arthur said. They're going in the right direction.

Tendulkar, hero of several Indian victories over Pakistan, said like the rest of the world, he too was eagerly waiting for the summit clash. But Pakistan cricket swings like a pendulum, hovering between brilliant and ordinary, making a mockery of any kind of definitive analysis.

"We can see our style and method catching up with the rest of the world because we're being exposed to it now". For instance, if one bets Rs 100 on India, and Virat Kohli's team wins, one will get back around Rs 147, according to Betfair.

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