“If you must battle and need to win, use the strongest muscle: Coronary heart.”
Pakistan should take heed to this recommendation from Corina Abdulahm-Negura if they’re to finish their embarrassing dropping spree towards India and carry the ICC Champions Trophy for the primary time at The Oval on Sunday (as we speak).
Lower than a fortnight in the past, Pakistan didn’t present any coronary heart as they only crumbled underneath strain in a Pool B recreation towards India at Edgbaston.
Now that they’ve acquired a proverbial second probability, Pakistan can’t afford to be hen-hearted once more.
They face a staff that has proved itself to be probably the most damaging batting sides within the historical past of the sport. They face a aspect that has among the best bowling assaults in India’s historical past. They face a aspect that may accept nothing lower than the title.
Briefly, Pakistan’s face a process that seems to be tougher than scaling Everest in the midst of a storm.
However from what we now have seen of their previous couple of video games, if there’s any staff that’s able to stopping the Indian juggernaut, it’s Pakistan.
The best way Pakistan neutralised the robust batting line-ups of South Africa and England proves that they’ve the firepower to silence India’s massive weapons like Shikhar Dahawan, who’s the event prime run-getter with 317 runs at seventy nine.25.
But when India have Dhawan then Pakistan can unleash the younger Hasan Ali, the event main wicket-taker with ten scalps at 17.20.
Hasan and the remainder of Pakistan’s assault proved too good for the likes of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes at Edgabston and Sophia Gardens.
Nevertheless, the duty of taming the likes of Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma might be a troublesome one on a recent Oval wicket that’s anticipated to be filled with runs.
Again at Edgbaston and Cardiff, Pakistan performed on used wickets that have been dry and suited their bowling assault.
However at The Oval, they may not get comparable help.
That is the primary time on this event that Pakistan shall be enjoying at The Oval, which has been a batsman’s paradise in current occasions. The typical first-innings rating right here because the 2015 World Cup is 293; 300-plus scores are much more frequent there than at Edgbaston and Sophia Gardens.
Pakistan, nevertheless, shouldn’t lose coronary heart.
They’re anticipated to get again pacer Mohammad Amir, who was pressured to overlook the semi-ultimate recreation towards England in Cardiff due to a again spasm.
Pakistan will as soon as once more begin as underdogs and don’t have anything to lose. The strain ought to be on India, who’re the defending champions.
They’ll as soon as once more be wanting in the direction of rookie opener Fakhar Zaman to offer them with a constructive begin. The left-hander, who was not tried within the pool recreation towards India, has scores of 31, 50 and fifty seven at a strike-fee above 117.
The Indians may need to drop seasoned spinner R Ashwin, who has pulled a muscle and was seen with a closely-taped proper knee on Saturday. He might be changed by pacer Umesh Yadav, who sizzled within the June four recreation towards Pakistan with three-30.
Historical past is on Pakistan’s aspect having gained seventy two matches to India’s fifty two. However current historical past tilts closely in India’s favour. Then there’s the truth that Pakistan have misplaced eight of the ten matches the groups have performed in international tournaments.
India’s have absolutely exhibited their batting may within the event. They’ve piled up 1098 runs at a per-batsman common of ninety one.50 within the Champions Trophy, which makes them by a distance the most effective batting aspect on present. The subsequent-greatest common is England’s forty one.eleven.
Pakistan’s 31 wickets are probably the most taken by any group within the Champions Trophy. Since that opening loss to India, they’ve taken 28 wickets at 23.seventy eight and maintained an financial system price of four.forty six.
4 of India’s prime 5 common larger than forty five towards Pakistan – Rohit Sharma the exception, with a mean of 37.ninety.
Junaid Khan has taken eight wickets at a mean of 20.50 in 5 matches towards India. He has dismissed Kohli 3 times, and conceded solely two runs to him.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.
Pakistan vs India
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