Zaheer Abbas wants Pakistan to avenge shameful defeat against India in final

Rahul Dravid

Legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas has called on the Pakistan cricket team to take revenge against India for the humiliating defeat in their Champions Trophy campaign opener by defeating the arch-rivals in Sunday's final.

Since Pakistan's crushing defeat against India on June 4, they have recovered well beating South Africa, Sri Lanka and England to reach the final.

A superb unbeaten century (123* off 129 balls) from Rohit Sharma and a scintillating knock of 96 off 78 balls from Virat Kohli helped India beat Bangladesh by nine wickets in the semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Thursday.

The fact that the hockey match will fly under the radar a little bit, owing to the big cricket game, might just work in the favour of the India players, because there will be less pressure and focus, and that could give them a better opportunity to perform to their full potential. "Their turnaround has been magnificent".

Talking about Pakistan's bowling, Dravid said: "You know they've probably learned from the last time they played India, in that they didn't take wickets and India hurt them really badly in the last seven or eight overs, so they can't afford to let that happen again".

Displaying his composed mindset ahead of the mouthwatering clash with Pakistan on Sunday, the skipper stated that regardless of whom one is going to play in the finals, it is always going to be challenging.

Bangladesh skipper, Mashrafe Mortaza said "We have some youngsters who have no experience, but we also have some experienced players".

While India is all set to take on Pakistan after defeating Bangladesh in semi-finals, Pakistan has made a decision to opt out from the mega event citing safety issues as their major area of concern. We've been playing good cricket.

Unless Bangladesh was able to repeat its superb performance of theICC Cricket World Cup 2007 displayed at Port of Spain, where it had thrown India out of the tournament in the initial round, India's win of Thursday was nearly certain.

"What we are going to try to do is repeat the cricket that we have played so far", Kohli says.

With the win, the Men in Blue have entered their fourth Champions Trophy final (twice in 2002, 2013 and 2017). India have already beaten Pakistan in the group stage.

"We would like to learn from our mistakes and be able to defend a total by bowling as a group". "They have an upper hand over us but this has to change and we will change that myth. It is a mercurial team and this tournament has thrown up so many upsets so far", he added.

Dhawan launched an aggressive attack in the eighth over as he hit Taskin Ahmed for two boundaries and a six, as the Bangladeshi paceman was guilty of pitching the ball too short.

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