The biggest encounter of the cricket world is back as India and Pakistan will fight it out at The Oval for the Champions Trophy 2017 (CT17) crown. Apart from the one game against Sri Lanka, India have played their best cricket. Talking about Pakistan, they have upped their game to a new height after the loss to India. Let’s take a look at the 5 major factors which might affect the game.
1. Best batting line-up of CT17:
India have been the best batting unit so far. While Shikhar Dhawan tops the list of most runs with 317, his partner Rohit Sharma, is not far behind (304 runs). With 3 fifties so far, Indian skipper Virat Kohli is at the fifth spot. He went on to become the no.1 ODI batsman thanks to his consistent performances in the CT. India have experience in Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni with big-hitters like Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja to follow. Considering form and power, India’s has a great potential with the bat.
2. Pakistan’s in-form bowling attack:
While Indian batters are going strong, Pakistan have their bowlers shining bright. Bowling coach, Azhar Mahmood, has helped the team with giving his inputs of the British conditions and the team has responded well. Although Mohammad Amir has taken just two wickets, it has been youngsters like Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan and Rumman Raees who have snatched the limelight. While Hasan (10 wickets) leads the chart of most wickets, Junaid and Rumman (in the last match) have chipped in at times. Amir, should he play in the final, will be eager to prove a point as well.
3. Venue advantage for India?
India have played two of their four matches of CT17 at The Oval. While they were beaten convincingly by Sri Lanka, India bounced back stronger against South Africa. But on the other side, Pakistan have played all of their matches at Birmingham and Cardiff and have to adapt well. But will the Indian batsmen and bowlers allow them to? That’s the real question.
4. Impact of the first encounter?
Not a long ago, these two sides met each other in Birmingham. India won the match quite convincingly as they bundled out the opposition, who were chasing 289 runs in 41 overs, for 164. The manner of loss had dented Pakistan’s confidence but it was admirable the way the whole team played after that. India have been playing good aggressive cricket and will not leave the foot off the paddle.
5. Pakistan’s unpredictable play:
Pakistan is one of the most unpredictable sides in world cricket. They have won matches when nobody believed in them and lost while they were sailing smooth. The story still remains the same. Even in this tournament, they have marched on to the finals when not many gave them any chances. Virat Kohli and India won’t take them lightly in their quest of winning the Champions Trophy for the second consecutive time.
Tempers will fly high in the Champions Trophy final and one can be sure of witnessing some great cricket from 22 talented individuals!