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Live Cricket Score: India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final

18 June, 2017 8:34 AM
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Live Cricket Score: India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final

Kohli calls 'heads'. It comes down as heads. India win toss and will field first. Sticking to their template. So that means for the first time in this CT17, Pakistan will bat first. Sarfraz Ahmed reckons he would have liked to bowl first as well. But that opinion now is purely academic. Pakistan will need runs on the board for a big final!

My German friend Artur Gajek is the first to ping. A Borussia Dortmund fan, he wants to know what is the big deal about this India vs Pakistan Champions Trophy final.

There are turnarounds. And there is this turnaround. Pakistan were stuffed at Edgbaston by India in the tournament opener and had a game against the top-ranked South Africa to come. There were those that foresaw another early flight back home for the men in green. Then Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain of their U19 Winning team of 2006, inspired a great turnaround. They South Africa in a stunning exhibition of fast bowling, stumbled across the line in an error-strewn match against Sri Lanka and then stunned hosts England in the semis. And here they are with a chance to settle scores with the old enemy.

Virat Kohli's cold focus on victory does have the effect of making India one of the more inscrutable top sides of the past few years. However, working them out, unlike Pakistan, is easy.

Are they actually good? The answer is obviously yes. But are they good? Are they good in the way Ricky Ponting's Australia were good? Are they good in the way they were around the turn of the decade, under MS Dhoni? If not, do they even care? And should we care if they don't?

But, just what is there to admire about the defending champions? Well how about the fact that they are, er, the defending champions? They won this tournament four years ago and have gotten to the summit clash once again with ruthless efficiency. And as South Africa and Bangladesh will vouch for, India can be bloody hard to beat on a big day. Few teams are as dangerous as this lot on the big stage.


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