India and Pakistan face off in dream cricket final

He feels that there are a few people who would love to be standing in Virat Kohli’s shoes this weekend, leading their national team into the final of Champions Trophy, and there is no doubt the captain of India will be relishing the prospect of Sunday’s final against Pakistan at The Oval.A global broadcast audience of more than half-a-billion is being projected for Sunday’s showdown between two of the sport’s fiercest rivals.Amir, who took two important wickets, including that of all-time batting great Sachin Tendulkar, when Pakistan beat India at Centurion in the 2009 Champions Trophy, starred with both bat and ball in the virtual quarter-final victory over Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Monday.India had lost their first wicket with 87 runs on the board and Bangladesh sniffed an opportunity.”I am sure Team India will win”.Speaking to reporters and journalists at the pre-match press conference, Sarfaraz said that his team had bounced back since they had played attacking cricket against opposition teams in the recent days.A day after former Pakistan cricketer Aamer Sohail put serious fixing allegations on Pakistani cricket team, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has come up in support of Pak skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed.”We’ve got nothing to lose – the pressure is more on them”. After scoring an unbeaten 76 against South Africa in the final group game, Kohli smashed 96 not out off 78 balls against Bangladesh in the semis to help India enter the final of the mega tournament. He adds, “I don’t know there’s much that we need to change as a team”. He bowled in the nets on Friday without problems.The rivalry between the two neighboring countries dates to 1952, just five years after independence, when India and Pakistan played their first test series.Kohli will be cast centre stage as India captain in front of a mere 24,500 sell-out crowd at The Oval, and his primary task will be to keep his composure at the crease and in the field as the overwhelming favourites bid to retain their title. It is like the is bigger than the Ashes – and expectation is high from both nations, insane about cricket.India, on the other side have looked a balanced side with both their batting and bowling departments having managed to click throughout the tournament. “Amir is now fit hence we will have to see on the day according to the conditions whether we can play Raees or not”, he added.Pakistan’s ability to produce impact players is nothing new. “It wouldn’t be a shock if we won”. We were in a good position to get 320 or 330. We were the number eight ranked side, and no one gave us any credit.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.”I’m extremely proud of the boys, the coaching staff, the management, everything”.