The Indian team will eye winning a second consecutive ICC Champions Trophy title – and their fifth ICC limited overs title – when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the summit clash of the 2016 edition of the tournament on Sunday.
India stormed to the final after crushing Bangladesh in the second semi-final, while Pakistan reached the title clash after ousting hosts England in the earlier semi-final.
Indian Batting Prowess Is No Match For Pakistan
Team India are overwhelming favourites to win the competition – especially given the form of their batsmen. India have lost only 12 wickets in the four matches they’ve played in the competition – the fewest among all teams.
Further, three Indian batsmen feature in the top five run-getters in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017; Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma occupy the top two places, while Virat Kohli slots in fifth.
While India have topped totals of 300 twice and chased down 265 against Bangladesh in 40.1 overs, Pakistan’s highest total in the competition is 237/7. Further, Pakistan’s batsmen have managed only five half-centuries in the competition – the highest being Azhar Ali’s 76.
Teams on Even Keel on Bowling Front
On the bowling front though, there is very little to separate the two teams; Pakistan have bowled out Sri Lanka and England in their last two matches and have taken a total of 31 wickets in the competition – highest among all teams, while India bowled out South Africa in the group stage, dismissed all 9 available Pakistan batsmen in that match, and have taken a total of 29 wickets in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
It should come as no surprise that a Pakistan cricketer tops the bowling charts. Hasan Ali, with 10 wickets in the competition – including three consecutive three-wicket hauls – sits atop the list of top wicket-takers in ICC Champions Trophy 2017, while Junaid Khan is joint fourth-highest wicket-taker with 7 scalps.
Both teams have relied on their pacers to get them wickets; while Pakistan’s pacers have picked up 23 of the 28 wickets taken by the team’s bowlers, the corresponding number for India is 19 out of 26.
Pakistan Hold Edge in Tournament Finals, But India Dominate Recent Contests
India and Pakistan have featured in several tournament finals over the years – most of them in the 1990s; the last tournament final (in ODIs) between India and Pakistan was the Kitply Cup Final in Dhaka in 2008. Pakistan clearly have the numbers when it comes to tournament finals against India. They’ve won 7 of the 10 finals against their arch-rivals.
In recent times though, India have dominated their neighbours; in the 10 most-recent meetings between the two teams, India have a 7-3 win-loss record against Pakistan – which includes the 124-drubbing at Edgbaston two Sundays ago.
June Lucky for India
The month of June has a special place in Indian cricket’s history. It was in the month of June – in 1932 – that the Indian team played its first official Test match. More than 50 years later, in 1983, it was in the month of June that India won the World Cup for the first time.
In 1986, it was in the month of June that India won a Test match at Lord’s for the first time ever. More recently, four years ago – in 2013, it was in the month of June that India defeated hosts England to win the ICC Champions Trophy title under the leadership of MS Dhoni. Can Virat Kohli’s Blue Brigade add another glorious chapter to Indian cricket’s history in June 2017?
You can follow live updates from the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final on our live blog here. Match commences at 3 pm IST.
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