Unchanged India line-up for Champions Trophy final, hints Virat Kohli

It's the 2006 ICC U-19 World Cup in which Pakistan colts defeated their arch rivals by 38 runs in a low-scoring final at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. For once, they behaved like gentleman, a requisite the game demands.

Virat Kohli's mind is not on the big ICC Champions final against Pakistan yet, but the Indian captain said the green shirts were on a high and needs to be respected. He was calmness personified, exuding an impression that things are under control.

"Until now, we have never spoken of the semi-final in any different way".

"What we've produced after that doesn't come as any surprise, because that's how we trained, and that's what we worked at". Even today's practice was absolutely similar.

"You have to be good enough to counter it, and that's the mindset we've been playing with in this tournament, and we're going to try to continue the same", he elaborated. "As far as the Indians and Pakistanis go, I don't think they watch this game as a game of cricket".

When Sarfraz was asked that same question, the Pakistan skipper's answer was diametrically opposite. Mellowed the two captains might be, but the "just another game" theory belies what is at stake. Mickey Arthur acknowledged as much. Although he slammed an 80-ball 84 in India's win over Australia in the quarters, Yuvraj couldn't shine with the bat in the final against New Zealand which the Kiwis won by four wickets. The South African captain, who plays alongside Kohli for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), revealed that the "outstanding cricketer" is someone who is fun to be with off the field.

But then, when India and Pakistan meet it's risky to take anything as read.

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Many Indian fans are anxious and a bit nervous regarding the outcome of India-Pakistan final on Sunday. "Don't worry about the India match". It is perhaps fitting. The game at Edgbaston was the first since February 15, 2015, that World Cup group game. If the match against Sri-Lanka is overlooked, then the bowling and the fielding department has also done well. The team possesses a batting line-up that can destroy any attack.

If Shikhar Dhawan (India) reaches 50 in this game, he'll have got there more often than any other batsman ever in the Champions Trophy (currently done it on six occasions). Their scores combined totals a staggering 874. England's defeat came as a shock to many.

If he does, favourites India had better look out.

India would like their two experienced spinners Ashwin Ravichandran and Ajay Jadeja to exercise greater sway over the middle overs just as Bhuvneshvar Kumar and Jaspreet Bumrah kept a tight leash on the batsmen, both with the new ball and in the death overs.

Amir's return bolsters an already impressive Pakistan pace attack featuring Hasan Ali, the tournament's leading wicket-taker. India should be aware of this fact.

The right-handed Rohit struck a superb unbeaten 123 to propel India to a convincing nine-wicket win.

The title holder India is the favorite for the trophy, which is fresh from two back to back dominant victories against South Africa and Bangladesh.


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