Kohli impressed by Pakistan turnaround

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli bats during the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston in Birmingham

Sarfaraz Ahmed has vowed to continue playing "attacking and positive" cricket in tomorrow's Champions Trophy final against India.

India may be ahead against Pakistan in ICC tournaments by an 8-2 margin, but in all ODI tournament finals Pakistan holds a 6-2 edge in the head-to-head battle against India. Some teams start very confidently and then they fade off.

"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", Kohli said. I hope the Indian team win. But not only have Pakistan, the lowest ranked team in a tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day global sides, always been regarded as world cricket's most "unpredictable" outfit, they have lost all three of their previous knockout matches against India at worldwide Cricket Council tournaments.

That seemed to have worked on for them as they overcame both South Africa and Sri Lanka to enter the semis and then came out with a spectacular performance against hosts England to knock them out of the tournament and enter the summit clash.

It is after 10 years that India and Pakistan are meeting in the final of an ICC tournament. As the Indian Express noted, this matchup has eluded cricket fans for more than 40 years, starting with the first World Cup in 1975, though it nearly came to be a number of times before. "It is a mercurial team and this tournament has thrown up so many upsets so far", Hussey wrote in a column for the official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

He nonetheless has great respect for opponents who fell well short in their 124-run Group B defeat against India two weeks ago, but will arrive with a point to prove on the biggest stage.

Saha added that the men in blue have bowled well against every opposition and every game was vital, when asked whether it will be a competition between Pakistan bowlers and Indian batsmen.

"Pakistan can beat anyone on their day, everyone is aware the kind of talent and ability they have", said Kohli.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have also lived up to their "unpredictable" standards, with their comprehensive wins over South Africa and Sri Lanka after the first game debacle against Kohli & Co. "The more relaxed you stay in these kind of situations, it's a good thing, because it helps you take better decisions when you are composed and calm mentally, and you can help the team come out of hard situations only if you're thinking in that fashion".

"The India game was an aberration", he said. India's batting line-up, as expected, has fired big time in this tournament with Shikhar Dhawan (317 runs) and Rohit Sharma (304 runs) topping the run charts.

Defending champions India had come into the competition as one of the favourites, and seeing them in the final does not come as a huge surprise.

This is only the second time in India's last five appearances at the Champions Trophy that they've managed to progress beyond the group stage; they did go on to win it on that previous occasion though (2013).

"We don't focus too much on past records", he said.



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