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Champions Trophy Final: Punters peg India as favorite

18 Juin 2017

"That's the kind of players they have, we're quite aware of that". They were exceptional against Sri Lanka and very impressive against England in the semifinals.

Ever since India and Pakistan crashed out in the group stage of the 2007 World Cup, robbing the world of a potential Super 8 Stage clash, conscious decision has been made by the ICC to try and slot the two arch-rivals in the same group in global events. India versus Pakistan for the Champions Trophy is always something that excites fans from both sides of the border and it will be interesting to see how Pakistan approach this particular match considering they already got drubbed in the group stage.

The two cricket-worshipping countries will meet in what looked such an unlikely showdown in London this weekend and India go in as strong favourites.

As they have done many times before, however, Pakistan suddenly found their form with wins over top-ranked South Africa and Sri Lanka before delivering an outstanding all-round display to stun previously unbeaten hosts England in the semi-finals. However, the entire Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 clocked a cumulative reach of around 411 million. Pakistan have won just one of their past eight matches against their biggest cricketing enemy and haven't beaten them at a major worldwide tournament since the 2009 Champions Trophy.

Only two weeks ago, India and Pakistan met in Birmingham, producing the sort of contest that has now become familiar. Toss will take place 30 mins prior to the beginning of the clash. "If you're chasing a total and you need eight an over and you've lost wickets, he's a guy who can still win you the game".

"We haven't spoken about this game in any different way", captain Virat Kohli said. "Honestly, you can't think of those things when you step onto the field", said Kohli in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

As far as India's attack is concerned, Gambhir felt that it's time that paceman Umesh Yadav be brought back in the playing eleven. The trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli have combined for 81.4 percent of all India's runs in the competition. "They have picked the right moment and bowlers to take runs off", said Gambhir.

"Pakistan have bowled really well since the first game against India", Saha said, adding he has not got the time to watch a single game. We are keeping things simple as the more you are relaxed, the better decisions you make.

"Honestly, I know it sounds amusing but it is so important to stay away from those things".

Champions Trophy Final: Punters peg India as favorite