Amir fit and plays in Champions Trophy final

Posted June 18, 2017

Asked why Pakistan's effort will be different this time, Arthur said on Saturday their attitude is different.

Pakistan had started their campaign on a disastrous note with a 124-run defeat to arch-rivals India, but consecutive wins over formidable South Africa and Sri Lanka in the rest of their matches in Group B saw them qualify for the semi-finals.

India suffered a shock loss to Sri Lanka in the group stage before overwhelming Bangladesh in the semis and their captain Virat Kohli has been impressed by Pakistan's resurgence.

- If Dhawan makes a half-century, he will have done so more than any other batsman in the Champions Trophy (he now has six). The two sides have met thrice at the ICC Knockout Stage so far out of which India has defeated Pakistan twice.

This is the first time that Pakistan have entered the final of the Champions Trophy and Arthur believes that it is a flawless result to show that they are heading into the right direction. India has won the Champions Trophy twice and the Cricket World Cup twice, but never successfully defended a title. The upside has been the rapid growth of newcomers such as seamer Hasan Ali, the Trophy's leading wicket-taker with 10, opener Fakhar Zaman - "Batting like a champion", captain Sarfraz Ahmed says - and medium-pacer Rumman Raees, the injury replacement for Wahab Riaz who took 2-44 on debut against England.

"This is the game they want, but it is up to us how we handle the pressure on the day".

However, India will remain under pressure as the Pakistan team has a fresh batch of players who have exuberating confidence. The fielding was sloppy, the bowling didn't stick to the game plan, and the batsmen didn't run well between the wickets. India have the best strike rate during this phase, but are second in terms of average, and third in economy rates. The only solace for Pakistan has been the CT, where they have won two matches (2004 & 2009). "In the PSL we're getting all our top players rubbing shoulders with some of the best players around the world, so that is rubbing off on our cricket now, where there certainly had been a void for a period of time".

The bowling average for Pakistan's seamers during the middle overs: they have taken 13 wickets during this phase and conceded only 4.2 runs per over. They average nearly 100 runs per wicket in the tournament.

India, however, lost two finals against Pakistan in the sub-continent.

SQUAD - Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Dinesh Karthik.

"Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great".