Amir fit and plays in Champions Trophy final


Visualisation, planning keep happening, with analysis of the opposition.

His eyes were fixed on March 1.

Only two weeks ago, India and Pakistan met in Birmingham, producing the sort of contest that has now become familiar.

It was only under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy which saw the ressurgance on an aggressive Team India, which started taking pressure in Indo-Pak matches.

"Since that match, every game has virtually been a knock-out game for it. Winning this would be a big boost and we can give something for our fans to rejoice", is what we often heard.

AB de Villers has had to contend with a familiar South African script at the ongoing edition of the Champions Trophy, but his side's early exit hasn't kept him from praising his Indian counterpart and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli ahead of India's final against Pakistan on Sunday.

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"No." Not a word added.

"After the India game we have bowled with an attacking mindset and that is why we have taken wickets", he said. After the defeat in the league on June 4, all hell had broken loose in Pakistan. And on the eve of the final, Kohli emphasised there is nothing special about this match.

"Until now, we have never spoken of the semi-final in any different way". So what we've produced after that doesn't come as any surprise because that's how we trained, and that's what we worked at. Even today's practice was something extra. "As I said, it's just another game of cricket".

Though he acknowledged that Pakistan have improved vastly after their 124-run defeat to India in their tournament opener, especially in the bowling department, Saha feels that India have played consistently well throughout the series. Pakistan are totally in contrast.

Pakistan have relied on their bowling in the tournament and will possess a threat to India's quest of defending their title, which they won in 2013. With their record in ICC tournaments against India getting worse, thoughts of beating the arch-rivals seem to occupy their mind more than before. His opposite number in the Pakistan camp, Sarfraz Ahmed, was a little more revealing, but not much more forthcoming.

If he does, favourites India had better look out.

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"That's the kind of players they have, we're quite aware of that", added Kohli, with India hammering Bangladesh by nine wickets in Thursday's second semi-final at Edgbaston.

Jadhav took six wickets before the match and all of them to break crucial partnerships. Even if it doesn't, Pakistan would look to these five players to rally the team around them and script what will definitely be a much-needed and memorable win.

"The guys are under no illusion as to what the expectation is on them, but they're genuinely excited".

"If you are thinking we are three down but I am going to counterattack and get the team back on track, it ends up happening because you are convinced about it", Kohli said when asked about how he prepares for big games.

But he was hardly missed on Wednesday, with fellow left-arm paceman Rumman Raees, making his one-day worldwide debut, taking two for 44 as England were skittled out for just 211.

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