India vs Pakistan, ICC Final Match Preview

June 18, 2017

Over a billion people from the subcontinent and millions more from around the world are expected to watch this match – it’s India versus Pakistan, the biggest contest in cricket. Nothing comes close, not even Australia versus England.

The Indian team appeared relaxed ahead of this match with everyone taking a day off to go sightseeing in London. This has put them in a better frame of mind for the match and taken some of the tension away.

Pakistan would desperately want to get a revenge on India by beating them for the first time in an ICC event. There are many in Pakistan who consider this to be a do or die battle. A defeat is unthinkable for both teams. It is no secret that neither of the two countries like each other too much.

Coming back to the cricket – there is a lot of anxiety in India over one player who most people consider to be a weak link in the Indian team. All-rounder Hardik Pandya. Pandya’s bowling hasn’t been all that great and he has gone for a lot of runs. But he is a brilliant fielder and his lower order batting can be destructive.

Indian captain Virat Kohli insists that Pandya will play. Kohli said in a pre-match press conference: “I would back a guy like Hardik who provides you so much balance in conditions that he can be effective as a bowler and his batting is priceless. If you’re chasing a total and you need eight an over and you’ve lost wickets, he’s a guy who can still win you the game. He can give you a match-winning performance in any game that he plays. As a fielder, as well. It’s very hard to find a package like that.

“That’s the kind of belief he has in his ability and we have that belief in him. You need to back guys like him on a regular basis and you will get those results where the team is in crisis and he stands up and gives a match-winning performance.

“So far he’s been really good in the tournament. When he bowls well, it’s a total relief for me as a captain because he can get you seven good overs. He can get you a couple of wickets, as well, and then with the bat and the field we know what he can do. So I would not think of changing anything at this particular stage,” Kohli added.

The other team news is that R. Ashwin may miss out because of an injury and Umesh Yadav may come into the team in his place. But this still remains to be seen.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that his team was in a very good frame of mind and excited about the game. He said that they would go all out for a win and play their “A” game later today.

Arthur said, “I said before the Edgbaston game [against India], that I thought they were really, really calm. But they’re very, very excited now, and there’s a hell of a good vibe in that dressing room. Let’s hope we can pull out our ‘A’ game again tomorrow. If we play our ‘A’ game together and do the basics well, we can beat anybody.”

The last time the two teams played, India won quite easily. But this time, it could be a lot more difficult for India. We still expect India to win, but the match can go either way. There is just no way to tell.

 The Teams

India: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 R Ashwin/Umesh Yadav,10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan: 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Mohammad Amir, 9 Shadab Khan, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Junaid Khan

Match conditions

The Oval has always been friendly for batting, and we expect the same in this match as well. The side batting first should score well over 300 to stay in the hunt. Expect a bright and sunny day in London today.

Watch India play Pakistan in the Final of the ICC Champions Trophy at 3:00 pm today live on Star Sports!

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