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IND vs PAK: Rains to spare Champions Trophy final

Virat Kohli on Saturday played down the hype around the India versus Pakistan game on the eve of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final at The Oval on Sunday.Amir, however, has once again become a mainstay of the Pakistan team since returning to the side early in 2016, appearing in 47 of the team’s 57 matches across all worldwide formats following his comeback.After Pakistan was thrashed by India by 124 runs two weeks ago, coach Mickey Arthur blamed “the magnitude of the occasion” for the fear his side showed.The spin duo of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez alongside medium-pacer Rumman Raees – who made his debut in the semi-finals – will look to provide depth and variation to the Pakistan bowling line-up.India topped Group B and booked their place in the semis by securing impressive wins against South Africa and Pakistan in the group stages.India have now registered two wins on the trot in the tournament, beating Scotland 4-1 and then defeated Canada 3-0.India won the Champions Trophy title in 2013, under the leadership of Dhoni, and will aim to lift the trophy once again when they take on bitter rivals at the Kennington Oval on Sunday. We can restrict them or defend against them. It’s part of being an Indian cricketer and you just have to focus on what’s happening on the field and accept reality’.India, however, does have an upper hand since Pakistan usually is on the losing side against India in ICC tournaments.Kohli claimed the top-spot in the ICC ODI batting rankings this week after he scored three scores of fifty plus in four matches in the ongoing tournament.Meanwhile Kohli said it was important for players to ration their use of sites such as Twitter. I don’t know how those guys do that. Our real strength is our bowling and we must bat first if we win the toss. “I said before the Edgbaston game, I thought they were really, really calm, but they’re very, very excited now, and there’s a hell of a good vibe in that dressing room”.Virat Kohli also added that Pakistan cannot be written off, and that they can be at their best on their day. They have come in committed to the way we want to play our cricket.Arthur expressed his satisfaction at the team’s performance in the middle overs of the game and added that it seems to be the right path to take.”The way the players dragged themselves off the canvas after the beating at Edgbaston was awesome. After the defeat against India, we had some honest conversation amongst ourselves and the way these players have played after that has been exceptional”, said Arthur. There will be many distractions when India lines up against Pakistan in the final, with a manic crowd likely to be out of control in the lead up and on match day as the hype for this match will be huge.