The Final is almost upon us and there is plenty of excitement amongst the fans for the game. India versus Pakistan for the Champions Trophy is always something that excites fans from both sides of the border and it will be interesting to see how Pakistan approach this particular match considering they already got drubbed in the group stage.
There is plenty to cheer for the Pakistanis of course. They have made it to the final of an ICC tournament after a long time and despite not having the strongest squad in the tournament, they have played good cricket. The match against England was a real watershed moment as the Pakistan team united and played as a team to win them the game.
India are a whole different ball game however. They aren’t going to mess around and are looking ever so strong to retain the trophy. Throughout the tournament, barring the Sri Lanka game, the team have played very well overall. The top three batsmen for the country look like they are the top three in the world and have punished all the bowlers who have tried to get them out.
One of the main reasons that India could lose the game is because of complacency. The team are really strong and this could work against them if they go into the game with a mentality of overconfidence. This is still a major ICC final and there is still a game that needs to be played to win the trophy.
India cannot afford to be complacent and must respect the opposition. Pakistan have a few class players in the team who will also be looking to play out of their skins and win them the trophy for the first ever time.
Hardik Pandya is the weak link in India’s bowling department
India’s bowling has been good this tournament but not the best. Bhuvneshwar and Jasprit are two bowlers who can pick up wickets and bowl brilliantly at the death. But they cannot always be relied upon and Pandya has leaked runs with the balls this tournament. Ashwin and Jadeja are world-class but not the greatest in the limited overs format. India needs to really go in for the kill and their bowlers will need to stand up and be counted.
Untested Middle Order
Sure, the middle order have fired when called upon but they have been required on occasions where the top three have already settled the scoreboard for them to capitalize on or to finish off the innings. Yuvraj and Dhoni have each scored above fifty once so far this tournament while Jadhav has only gotten to face a few deliveries overall. Their relative lack of time in the middle could be a matter of concern and they will need to be ready for every possibility.