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Sarfraz, Imad: Pakistanis to win an ICC final vs India

17 Juin 2017

Defending champions India will aim to live up to their tag of title contenders and dominate Bangladesh in the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy cricket tournament here on Thursday.

India cruised to victory, finishing on 265 for one with almost 10 overs to spare.

"For me the number of runs do not matter at this stage".

The team that said to have low self-belief and lack of confidence, seems to have changed. "Those two guys really dent the opposition mentally", he explained. India loves chasing, we saw that today.

Still, all out efforts were undertaken by Virat & company in the game against Bangladesh.

The Tigers' third-wicket duo had given India something to think about while adding 123 but once they were both out the innings fell away. "They bowled well, their fielding was extra-ordinary while they also batted very well to pull off a comfortable victory against hot favourites England", he said. Jadhav's a smart cricketer. It's how you think about the game and how you think as you prepare for big games.

While it may be one of cricket's oldest cliches to label Pakistan "unpredictable", they've done their best to live up to it during this tournament.

With Pakistan's front-line pacer Mohammad Amir declared fit to play in the final after sitting out the previous match, he alongside new ball bowler Junaid Khan will be the key against India to provide their side with early breakthroughs.

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Since Pakistan's crushing defeat against India on June 4, they have recovered well beating South Africa, Sri Lanka and England to reach the final.

De Villiers, who has befriended Kohli through playing in the same Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the Indian Premier League, says the India skipper has mellowed down the years and the anger that sometimes surfaced has been replaced by a more jocular personality.

India and Pakistan have just met in one ICC last - the 2007 World Twenty20 masterpiece, which was won by India. If Pakistan want to create a chance for themselves, then they'll have to focus their attack on India's top three - Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. On their day they can beat any side of the world. Amir, thought to be the team's spearhead, missed out on the semi-final against England on Wednesday.

"No one gave us a hope when we got here".

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was left lamenting the fact his side had been "nowhere near their best" against India.

"India have a very good batting line-up and if they put up a big total it will bring pressure on us".

Azhar hoped The Oval will help seam and swing bowling.

"India have the upper hand in ICC tournaments", he admitted before adding, "but things can change, and this is the time for us to change the tag that we don't perform well at ICC events".

Sarfraz, Imad: Pakistanis to win an ICC final vs India