India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy: It will be a cracker of a game, says Sourav Ganguly

first_imgIndia start favourites to retain the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday but arch-rivals Pakistan stand between them and victory. However, former India captain Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh backed India get the better of Pakistan and defend the title.The India-Pakistan matches have always been nerve-wracking and once again the stage is set for the high-profile clash. The atmosphere is expected to be electrifying and fans are all set to paint the Oval “Blue” and “Green” on Sunday.”It will be a cracker of a game tomorrow,” Sourav Ganguly told India Today.India have been dominant against Pakistan in ICC events, with the overall record being 13-2 in their favour. However, in Champions Trophy the results were tied at 2-2 after India’s 124-run win over Pakistan in the group stages of the tournament.”India by far a better side. Much composed side. This Indian team is in terrific form. Whoever plays well in the first 20 overs will have the upper hand,” Ganguly said.WATCH FULL VIDEO HEREGanguly said he believes India will be under no pressure as many of the players have played in big tournament finals before.”Virat Kohli has been in the final before. It’s big stage for him and Anil Kumble. India have players who have been the final before. Pakistan will have to play out of their skins to beat India,” he added.While India’s openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are the top two run-getters with 317 and 304 runs respectively in the tournament so far, Kohli remains the target of Pakistan bowlers or any bowling attack in the world for that matter. And why not? After all, Kohli has been the man standing between Pakistan and victory on many occasions now. Against Pakistan, Kohli has aggregated 454 runs in 11 innings at 50.44 with the help of two centuries and a fifty.advertisementGanguly said toss will not be important but India will have to play well.”I don’t think toss will be important. India will have to play, score big. Pakistan can’t score 300 runs. Mohammad Amir will have to get past Dhawan and Rohit first before bowling to Kohli,” Ganguly said.India have won three ICC tournaments in the last 10 years — starting with ICC World Twenty20 in 2007, World Cup in 2011 and Champions Trophy in 2013.”India have played big tournaments better than any other side in world cricket in the last 10 years,” Ganguly said.Indian off spinner Harbhajan Singh also backed India to maintain their dominance over Pakistan.”We are favourites. We have beaten three teams in Green. The fourth one is also wearing Green,” Harbhajan said.”India have players to win matches with bat and ball. Starting the proceedings with Jasprit Bumrah will be a good option,” he added.Pakistan started the tournament on a poor note but bounced back well to register victories over South Africa, Sri Lanka and hosts England to enter their first-ever Champions Trophy final.While Pakistan have showed signs of resurgence, Harbhajan warned India to be wary of Shoaib Malik.”Don’t give easy singles to Shoaib Malik. He is a dangerous batsman,” he said.If the result goes in India’s favour, they will become the first team to win the Trophy three times and join Australia as the second team to defend the title.last_img