Champions Trophy: Titanic tussle in offing

The often tense political relations between the neighbouring nations add colour to the bitter yet intense rivalry, which has nowadays been confined only to global events.

It was then over to Amir, who quickly dispelled the predictions of many that India could pull off a tournament and ground-record run chase - in the process silencing the majority support in a sell-out crowd for this high-profile showdown as their team folded to 158 all out in 30.3 overs.

It is nonetheless a battle of attrition, where one needs to hold the nerve till the very end. In the past, there have always been contests within contests like between a Sachin Tendulkar and fearsome Shoaib Akhtar. Both teams are unchanged from the side that played the semi finals. In both the tournaments, men in blue lost just one match. "Since then, every game has virtually been a knockout for them and they have played with nothing to lose and with a freedom to express their skills". But for millions following them, it's way beyond that and is fuelled more by comments from former stars like Virender Sehwag or Rashid Latif.

Meanwhile, legendary India batsman V.V.S. Laxman tweeted: "Good luck Team India for the #CT17Final".

But just like in life, at times sporting realities defy logic which is exactly the reason why Sarfraz Ahmed's team can't be ruled out on a big day.

In their opening group stage matches earlier in the tournament, India had defeated Pakistan.

"I think the way Virat Kohli is batting and his timing is great". But Pakistan cricket swings like a pendulum, hovering between brilliant and ordinary, making a mockery of any kind of definitive analysis. We should go with Junaid Khan (leader of the pace attack) followed by Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees and Hassan Ali.

"Pakistan has surprised everyone in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after being ranked eighth coming into the tournament and was well and truly beaten in their first game against India", Hussey said.

Hasan Ali, un-Pakistani-esque in his line-and-length bowling style but someone who ran in with characteristic aggression, took three to make sure India could not rebuild.

It was, all too briefly for India, eight for one when Fakhar went after a wide one from Jasprit Bumrah and edged behind, only to be reprieved by the no-ball call. "I don't think middle order not being tested is something to worry about", the skipper, who himself has been in sublime form had said earlier.

Revelation and redemption helped Pakistan turn world cricket's order upside down as Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day global century and Mohammad Amir's brilliant new-ball spell underpinned a landslide 180-run win over India in the Champions Trophy final.

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