Amir fit and plays in Champions Trophy final


There won't be any shortage of passion on the field, in the stands, in the dressing room and everywhere the ardent cricket fans are going to watch the thrilling match between India vs. Pakistan.

According to Arthur, India's top-order has done marvelously well and the middle-order has not been tested throughout the competition, so if Pakistan want to create a chance for themselves, they'll have to focus their attack on Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli who have been scoring the bulk of the runs for the Men in Blue.

Kohli, however, added: "At the same time, neither are we too intimidated nor are we too arrogant about what we are doing".

Pakistan have been starved of global cricket in their own country since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009, forcing them to play their "home" series at neutral venues.

The spin duo of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez alongside medium-pacer Rumman Raees - who made his debut in the semi-finals - will look to provide depth and variation to the Pakistan bowling line-up.

Since that 162/7 against Sri Lanka, Pakistan have scored 627 runs while losing just 6 wickets - 2 against England in semifinals and 4 against India in the final and scalped 20 wickets conceding just 369 runs; 51 runs more than what they allowed India to score against them in their first game.

"This (pressure) is a part of being an Indian cricketer, you have to find a way to deal with it. I honestly don't think of those things when I step on to the field".

"You can't ignore it".

Pakistan has surprised everyone in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after being ranked eighth coming into the tournament and was well and truly beaten in its first match against India. "I think I've been able to strike a good balance until now, and yeah, I'm sure I'll be fine for the final".

"We dissected India a lot before the game at Edgbaston and we've sort of backtracked a little bit".

But Arthur, who took charge shortly before last year's tour of England, always believed they could go all the way in this tournament.

Normally, you would expect the team management to go back to that template, with Pakistan's batsmen considered more adept against the turning ball. "We are excited to be playing in the final and we'll treat this as any other knockout game", the Pakistan skipper said. Junaid Khan and comparatively unknown Hasan Ali have played havoc with the new ball.

"We have to (attack), we've got no option".

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur: "They've [his team] been outstanding, the way they've prepared, the way they dragged themselves off the canvas after the beating at Edgbaston [against India], was unbelievable. They've been really special".

But few would dispute that India-Pakistan is now the world game's premier contest - certainly not the ICC who, by their own admission, now fix the draw at their events to ensure the Asian giants meet in the group phase.

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

He said: "Beating England the way we did showed just how much talent there is in this side".