Former star batsman Aamer Sohail has backtracked on his comments after his claim that the Pakistan team fixed matches at the ongoing Champions Trophy cricket tournament drew widespread criticism across the country.
"We are favourites. We have beaten three teams in Green". Both teams have had one off day, India's coming against Sri Lanka, while Pakistan let themselves down against India in their opening game. Pakistan have reached the Champions Trophy final for the first time.
But then calculations went haywire in both groups.
Two days later, again in the Welsh capital, Pakistan produced a brilliant all-round display to hammer previously unbeaten tournament hosts England by eight wickets in a lopsided semi-final. A lot of that training was dominated by fitness drills.
"One of the keys to winning big games is each player being able to disregard all the outside distractions and focus on his role in the team".
The set-pieces will be significant in terms of the match on Sunday. "But at the moment I will have to give an edge to India, their batting line up is quite stronger", Tait told PTI in an interaction here. The Champions Trophy has been generous so far, producing six winners in its seven previous editions.
He confirmed that Mohammad Amir is fit to play the final but added that a decision has not been on which player to bench for the final. He is perfectly capable of the banana swing, although the white ball hasn't swung much in UK. "It has played as though it has nothing to lose, with a freedom to express its skills, which is commendable considering the situation it found itself in", Hussey, who has played 79 Tests and 185 ODIs for Australia amassing 6235 and 5442 runs respectively, added.
India are unlikely to change the playing XI that hammered South Africa and Bangladesh in back-to-back matches. Ahmed Shehzad has sat out all of Pakistan's three subsequent games, and Fakhar Zaman has sealed his place for the final with a couple of crucial innings at the top of the order. Misbah-ul-Haq fell short of bringing home the trophy in a match that will be remembered for ages.
On hindsight, the IPL seems to have done a world of good to the Indian players.
Sarfraz said that his team would be as aggressive as they were throughout the tournament and were ready to pull off a final surprise. You can never tell how a particular team starts a tournament.
"After the India match, we just motivated the guys", he said.
The Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, was confident his bowlers would do better in the death overs on Sunday than they had managed in Birmingham. The fielding was sloppy, the bowling didn't stick to the game plan, and the batsmen didn't run well between the wickets.