Virat Kohli chose to bowl as India seek to defend the title they won in this country four years ago, and he was able to name an unchanged team after Thursday’s semi-final win over Bangladesh.
For Pakistan, as predicted, fit-again Mohammad Amir returned in place of his fellow left-armer Rumman Raees – the only switch from the line-up which defeated England in Cardiff on Wednesday.
A sell-out crowd was building only slowly through tight security for this match between two of cricket’s greatest rivals which will attract a huge, perhaps record-breaking global broadcast audience.
It was already a noisy and colourful spectacle, however, in anticipation of what is sure to be a highly partisan occasion.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.
ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final latest – India v Pakistan
13th over: Pakistan are going along very nicely now and the score predictor has them at 315. However, this looks a very good pitch and India will fancy chasing anything under 330, you would think.
There hasn’t been much turn for Ashwin and Pakistan have played him well including Azhar slamming him over long-on for six.
7th over: Azhar and Fakhar are just starting to settle a little here although most of the runs are coming behind square. Plenty of edges and French cuts.
The openers are still there though and India will be conscious of their need for early wickets to get the crowd going and apply the pressure. In that effort, their first change is to bring Ravi Ashwin into the attack to bowl the eighth.
4th over: WICKET! WAIT NO! Fakhar drives at a wide one from Bumrah with little footwork and nicks it behind…but Marais Erasmus is checking upstairs and it’s a no-ball! High drama in the early stages.
1st over: Kumar starts with a maiden and India are off to a near-perfect start on a fresh – but nevertheless dry – pitch.
10am: This is the final we all dreamed of, isn’t it? Well, at least the neutral fans will have done. These two countries have a fierce rivalry on every level and any opportunity for them to renew it is warmly received.
The crowd against Bangladesh were about 80 per cent Indian and it looks to be similarly partisan today. India have won the toss and unsurprisingly will bat second – there is no better man in world cricket at constructing a run-chase than Virat Kohli.
Source : EXPRESS