Coach: Pakistan mindset better for CT final after India loss


Former Australia left-hander Michael Hussey feels that although India are hot favourites to retain the ICC Champions Trophy, Pakistan can not be discounted as they have a feeling of "destiny" with them.

Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail recently said Pakistan have reached the final with the help of external forces, which was interpreted as fixing in matches.

India's batting line-up, as expected, has fired big time in this Champions Trophy with Shikhar Dhawan (317 runs), Rohit Sharma (304 runs) and skipper Virat Kohli (253 runs) making it three Indians in the top-five highest run-getters' list. One can also gamble on many other aspects of the game, such as 10-over score by each team or even total scores by both.

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"Beyond the golden talent and the iron determination, Virat has learned how to cope with the pressures of his exalted position", said De Villiers, who was dismissed for his first golden duck in ODI cricket in a loss to Pakistan last week. If the sun is out, wicket is flat and you are chasing a big target, then you may go all out in power play. India has won the Champions Trophy twice and the Cricket World Cup twice, but never successfully defended a title. Some teams might not have the best starts, and they come back amazingly, which Pakistan has done.

Team India, the defending champions, registered their place in the Champions Trophy final after registering resounding nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second semi-final to set up another mouth-watering, high-octane clash with Pakistan in the finals.

While Kohli, one of the most marketable athletes in the world, is used to dealing with high expectations, he says staying away from social media during this tournament has be a key learning from his first major ICC event as captain.

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The Men in Blue have won all three of their previous matches against Pakistan in the knockout stages of International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments to date and it is but obvious that they would start going into the finals as favourites.

"On their day they can beat any side in the world", said Kohli of Pakistan. "They are intimidating opposition bowlers with their class and breathtaking stroke-play". You can't ignore it also and have to maintain a balance. Although gambling is illegal in most parts of the country, Indians can lay their bets on United Kingdom websites.

"We've got nothing to lose-the pressure is more on them", Mahmood told reporters at the Oval on Friday. In their group clash Duckworth-Lewis did play a part, but it was India's game anyway. But Kohli, understandably confident in his own team added: "I don't know there's much that we need to change. I think I have been able to strike a good balance until now, I'm sure I'll be fine for tomorrow", he added. "They've been really special in the way that they've bought into the concept that we wanted them to buy into and the brand of cricket, and they've done exceptionally well at that".

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