Forget group win over Pakistan, Kohli warns before final

Posted June 18, 2017

Pakistan were all out for 109 but then bowled out India for 71 on an under-prepared pitch. His opposite number in the Pakistan camp, Sarfraz Ahmed, was a little more revealing, but not much more forthcoming.

The duo was just immaculate with their timing and shot selection during the course of the partnership as they smashed the Bangladeshi bowlers to all the parts of the ground and hampered their confidence so and so that they could not never get the edge in the match.

By contrast, a single advertisement during an IPL match would have cost around INR. 8 crore in total.

India's bowlers aren't too far behind, but they got a massive helping hand from their fielders (against South Africa) and a part-timer (Kedar Jadhav against Bangladesh).

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On the eve of the ICC Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals Pakistan at The Oval here on Sunday, India skipper Virat Kohli hinted at playing the same combination in their quest for defending the title. He has rallied this team and taken them to the final.

India, who beat Pakistan by five runs in the Twenty20 final 10 years ago, have been lifted by outstanding batting from Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. But Kohli, understandably confident in his own team added: "I don't know there's much that we need to change".

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur: "They've [his team] been outstanding, the way they've prepared, the way they dragged themselves off the canvas after the beating at Edgbaston [against India], was fantastic". We've practised the same way from the first day we came here.

"I want to achieve that goal", added Hasan, whose 20 career ODIs have yielded a haul of 39 wickets at an average of 23.92 - impressive figures in a form of the game where the odds are often all in favour of batsmen making big scores.

While Pakistan have been boosted by the news that Mohammad Amir is expected to feature in the final having missed the semi-final clash against England with a back spasm, Ravichandran Ashwin's knee injury will be a cause of concern for the Indian team. "We have the attack to do that, providing we can strike upfront", Arthur said.

Arthur believes that the way his players recovered from a heavy defeat by India in the group stage with impressive victories over South Africa and England proves that it was merely "an aberration".

Asked if India made a statement to their bitter rivals with the nine-wicket triumph over Bangladesh on Thursday night, Kohli dismissed the suggestion.

Sunday's match could, according to some estimates, attract a global television audience of a billion and Arthur was in no doubt of the significance of a win over India.