Let’s just look at the match stats for both teams so far, as we build up to the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final – both teams have played 3 group stage games, won 2 each and lost 1 each. India ended higher on the points table due to a better Net Run Rate and then both teams completed easy wins in their respective semi final clashes – both completing 200+ chases without any hiccups.
Coming to batting and bowling, it has been Pakistan that have been way stronger in the bowling department while India have been tournament leaders when it comes to batting. Pakistan’s Hasan Ali is the tournament’s best so far, having picked 10 wickets in his 4 games; they have a total of 2 bowlers in the top 5 of the bowler’s chart while India have none.
It’s the other way around when it comes to the batting department. India’s Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli are all among the tournament’s top 5 batsmen while no Pakistani batsmen feature in the top 5. So clearly, it’s going to be India’s batting prowess against Pakistan’s lethal fast bowling options.
Ravichandran Ashwin was brought in for the clash against South Africa. He picked up one wicket in that game while he was expensive and wicketless in the game against Bangladesh. Considering that Pakistan play spin well, Kohli may just want to tinker with this winning combination and bring in Umesh Yadav for Ashwin.
Talking about Kohli, he has a batting average of 253.00 in this tournament so far. With 3 fifties and a duck in this cup, Kohli has amassed 253 runs and remained unbeaten in all games that India ended victorious. Key to success for India – a Virat Kohli fifty. Kohli also became the fastest to cross 8,000 ODI runs in the recent Semi Final 2.
Virat Kohli has a batting average of 253.00 in this tournament so far, amassing 253 runs and remaining unbeaten in all games that India ended victorious!
Pakistan have a well oiled bowling attack but they will be sweating on the fitness of Mohammad Amir, who wasn’t available for the knockout game against England. Rumman Raees did well as a replacement on debut, but Amir will definitely be first choice and his availability will be a huge boost for the men in green, considering the trouble he created for Rohit Sharma in the Indo-Pak group stage clash!
Pakistan have 5 individual fifties in their CT17 campaign so far, while India have 9 fifties and 2 centuries so the batting edge is clearly with India. Pakistan will want to break that crucial Rohit-Dhawan stand at the top, or else it could be curtains early on. Plus, they would want Babar Azam to shine, tipped as their best batsman at the moment but there have been no contributions from him as yet.
Our first Sports Scoop was an Indo-Pak one and we are back now with another India-Pakistan Sports Scoop. Let’s not forget that Pakistan have never beaten India in a major ICC tournament clash but their form has been good so far. Thoughts will all go back to that 2007 ICC T20 World Cup final, and Sreesanth cupping that all important catch of Misbah ul Haq.
One thing is for sure – a thrilling contest is awaiting us on Sunday 18th June, 2017. Please pray the rain stays away on that one day. Here’s another #Mauka for Pakistan!
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