- Picture by Action Images via Reuters/ Paul Childs Livepic LONDON, June 18 - The game that always "stops two nations" comes again to a third when title-holders India face Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final at London's Oval ground today.
Defending champions India, on the other hand, registered a resounding nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second semi-final to set up another mouth-watering, high-octane clash with Pakistan. The team, which emerges victorious in the final, will take a statistical lead as well. India have been impressive throughout the competition, their only blip came against Sri Lanka. While the Pakistani skipper headed his team to Under-19 World Cup victory in 2006, Virat bagged the same title in 2008 defeating South Africa. The two were eventually separated after they had added 128 off 23 overs - it was by far the highest opening stand for Pakistan vs India in an ICC event.
Sri Lanka (squad): Virat Kohli (captain), Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, M.S. Dhoni (wicket keeper), Ravendra Jadeja, Keedhar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Yuvraj Singh.
But, the Pakistan bowlers are not going to make their life any easy. Even skipper Kohli, with 253 runs, has made it to three Indians in top-5 list.
When asked about the preparation and the team's approach about the much-hyped match, Kohli said, "We have not spoken about the game in any different way".
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Or will it be the slick, skilled side who hammered England by eight wickets in the semi-finals, with Hasan Ali, the competition's leading wicket-taker, spearheading a brilliant bowling effort as the previously unbeaten tournament hosts were dismissed for just 211 before the likes of Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman helped knock off the runs in dashing style?
Both the teams have some experienced players, who are wonderful cricketers, and they will need to bring all their experience in the Champions Trophy final.
Syed Talat Hussain, political analyst at Pakistan's Geo Television, told The Associated Press that the Pakistan-India final is a "is a softer version of a war".
According to Indian media, citing BARC India, the group match between India and Pakistan in the Champions Trophy was watched by more than 200 million people and for the final, the viewership can increase from 30-40 percent. India: TV: DD National, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1HD (English, Hindi and Tamil versions).
England:Sky Sports 2 will have live coverage of the match, with build up starting at 10am.
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