The Final Date
Both the stage and teams are set for a Epic Clash at the Oval Cricket Ground, with two of the best teams of the tournament have progressed to the finals it promises to be a thriller. Both the teams played to their potential in group stage by losing one match each and winning the other two and both the teams outclassed Bangladesh and England respectively in the semis.
Both teams now head into the finals with a scoreline of 2-2 among them, which India levelled in group stage by beating Pakistan by 124 runs in this edition only. As the date approaches the things are heating up but its yet to be seen what the Indian Captain and Pakistan’s Coach Mickey Arthur thinks about the Big Clash. With both the teams looking settled, their is still concern on fitness of Amir who missed the semi-final with a back spasm and also it is yet to be seen that is Rohit Sharma fit to play or not as struggled with his knees in the semis against the Bangladesh. As we say India vs Pakistan, the first thing comes to our mind is rivalries between players, it is always interesting to see individual battles or rivalries so here are some to watch out for in tomorrow’s clash:
Virat vs Junaid
Junaid has dismissed Virat in 3 out of the 4 times they have met and Virat has scored just two runs in 22 balls against the speedster. The last time these two teams played each other in a One Day International was way back in 2015 in ICC World Cup. Virat last played against Junaid in year 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India for a limited over series.
Shoaib Malik vs Ashwin
The legendary Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik have played 252 ODI’s for Pakistan and currently he is the most experienced player in Pakistan team. On other hand R.Ashwin returns to competitive cricket after a long time, as he missed Indian Premiere League due to injury. Both players have a lot of experience and also have the ability to reverse their roles, as Shoaib can be handy with ball and Ashwin can bat a little which provides an extra edge for both the sides. Last time they met each other in Champions Trophy Malik was lbw out by jadeja but it was the pressure maintained by ashwin which eventually led to his wicket. Also Malik has a top score of 143 and an average of 35.50. His role is to bind the middle order in a situation of collapse. Ashwin has played 105 ODI’s and his economy is 4.91,which is considered as good in context of the time when 300 plus totals are a norm.
Head to Head:
Both the teams have beaten each other twice in Champions Trophy and India levelled the scoreline by winning their last two matches against arch-rivals in 2013 and 2017 respectively. It will be the fifth meeting between these two teams in Champions Trophy and will be the first one in the Finals. Before this these two teams played in a ICC tournament Final was way back in 2007 T-20 World Cup where the Indian Team led by MS.Dhoni won the Trophy in a nail-bitting encounter.
3:00 PM IST 18 June 2017 Oval Cricket Ground, London
It is expected to be cloudy with a minimal chance of rain and it is confirmed that match will surely be played on a new pitch.
India is expected to play with the same team that played the final group match against RSA and the Semi-Final against Bangladesh, if India is to make any Changes it could be Umesh Yadav in place of Hardik Pandya.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(C), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni(wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ashwin, Jadeja, B.Kumar, Bumrah.
The only change for Pakistan can be Amir in for Raees who had a good debut in the last match against England. Also, Imad Wasim and Man of the Match Hassan Ali got niggles in the Victory of Semi-Final, so it is yet to be seen are they fully fit to play or not.
Azhar Ali, Zamaan, Shoaib Malik, M.Hafeez, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed(C & wk), Amir, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali.