Who will win the Champions Trophy final? Arch rivals India and Pakistan will be fighting it out Sunday in a match that will literally bring the Indian Subcontinent to a complete halt. While betters will have a field day tomorrow, the unpredictable nature of the game makes it very enticing proposition.
India are without doubt the favorites. The way they have played in the tournament and the way their batsmen have scored huge totals make them look the real favorite. Indian batsmen have exploited the situation here in England exceptionally well. The way they have played throughout the tournament, including the lone match that they lost against Sri Lanka prove that their run-making machine has not slowed down even a bit and their fielding is better than anytime in the past.
Pakistani team, on the contrary was written off even before they landed in London. Their topsy turvy journey here is made evident by the way they have played in the tournament. They were comprehensively beaten by a dominant Indian team. But the loss against India probably propelled them to better and better in each match. From beating Sri Lanka to demolishing the hosts, the Pakistani team seems completely transformed in a matter on just a fortnight or so.
But the unpredictable nature of their cricket is evident on everyone. Their bowlers are simply awed by Indian batsmen. The way Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and others are playing, it will be difficult for Pakistani bowlers to contain them and put them under pressure.
But the good news for Pakistan is the fact that their fast bowler Mohammad Amir is likely to be fit for selection for the Champions Trophy final against India on Sunday, after completing an entire training session at The Oval on Friday. A back spasm had ruled Amir out of the semi-final against England on June 14, after he failed a fitness test shortly before the toss. Azhar Mahmood, Pakistan’s bowling coach, said Amir was fit but did not comment on whether the bowler would play the final. “Amir bowled today. Amir is fit,” Mahmood said on Friday. “We have not decided about (playing him).”
There is no denying that the news will be a psychological boost for Pakistani team, though their last match was won without him in the playing 11. “When you go to a final, you want your experienced player, you want him to be fully fit and participating on that particular day,” Mahmood said. But (we have told him) if he has any doubt he should let us know. At the moment he bowled today. He is fine. Yeah, definitely you would go with Amir, but we don’t mind if Amir can’t play. If he is not fit, then we have to move on.”
It will be a hard choice for Pakistani captain Sarfaraz. Will he drop Rumman Raees to accommodate Amir? Raees, another left-arm fast bowler who made his ODI debut in the match; he shared the new ball with Junaid Khan and took 2 for 44 in Pakistan’s eight-wicket victory. Along with Hasan Ali, who has emerged as Pakistan’s bowler of the tournament, Raees and Junaid surprised England, dismissing one of the best batting units over the last two years for 211. Hasan, who suffered a calf niggle in the semi-final, did not train with the team on Friday but Mahmood said the bowler was resting as a precaution.
india vs pakistan champions trophy 2017 final live streaming details, india vs pakistan final 2017 date, india vs pakistan head to head in icc champions trophy, india vs pakistan champions trophy 2017
Pakistan seem to have a problem of aplenty now. “We have the bench strength,” Mahmood said. “Last match, when Amir was not there, people were worried about our main strike bowler not playing. But the way Rumman Raees came in and bowled, it showed we have the bench strength. We have guys who have such skill and such an ability that they can perform on any stage. It is just a matter of self belief and confidence. I think anyone can replace anyone.”