India win toss, elect to field

Cricket Kohli simply the best says De Villiers

Cricket Kohli simply the best says De Villiers

Renewing a sporting rivalry that puts nearly all others in the shade, India will take on its neighbor Pakistan Sunday in the final of cricket's ICC Champions Trophy, a scaled-down, elites-only version of the World Cup.

The consulate general posted a video in which Ambassador David Hale and US Embassy Islamabad wished Pakistan Cricket Team all the best for Champions Trophy 2017.

'The way the players have dragged themselves off the canvas after that defeat by India has been wonderful, ' said Pakistan's South African coach Mickey Arthur.

India, pre-tournament favourites, has been in sensational form and would be looking to create history by becoming the first team to win three Champions Trophy titles. They were exceptional against Sri Lanka and very impressive against England in the semifinals.

Cricketing relations were soon cut and ever since the two teams have met only sporadically, nearly exclusively when they are compelled to face off in major tournaments.

But Sarfraz, who has had a fine tournament in his triple role of captain, wicket-keeper and batsman added: "You saw how well we bowled in the "death overs" against South Africa and also Sri Lanka".

"We had some honest conversations after that and the guys took it on the chin, ' said Arthur, who is quietly rebuilding a coaching reputation badly damaged by the 'homework affair" in his ill-fated spell in charge of Australia.

And Azhar believes the fact that four of their likely starting XI for Sunday's final now have a maiden clash against India under their belts will make them better equipped to handle the heat at The Oval on Sunday.

"To be able to maintain that balance nicely has been a good thing for me".

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"On their day they can beat any side in the world", said Kohli of Pakistan.

The passions generated by an India-Pakistan cricket match are unmatched and astute businessmen are looking to cash in on the opportunity.

"India is in a great place and must be favoured to retain the ICC Champions Trophy but no-one should discount Pakistan".

"Well, we got to London". I visualise a lot, and I see myself in hard situations and actually convincing myself that I can pull the team out in those situations. "We are excited to be playing in the final and we'll treat this as any other knockout game", the Pakistan skipper said. While Hardik Pandya has been patchy with the ball, Kedar Jadhav's performance against Bangladesh will help Kohli to play around with his fifth bowlers' option.

"The way the players dragged themselves off the canvas after the beating at Edgbaston was awesome".

"So we're quite aware of that but at the same time, neither are we too intimidated nor are we too arrogant about what we are doing. They've been really special".

"We are totally confident that India will win".

"I don't think we've exceeded expectations at all", he said.

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