Thursday marked the Semi-final of the ongoing Champions trophy in England. With the two Asian teams fighting for a place in final, it was team India who dismantled Bangladesh with a giant 9 wickets victory with as many as ten overs to spare. Team India driven by Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 123 and Virat Kohli ‘s 96 not out seemed too tough to handle for Bangladesh.
Having won 5 out of 6 games (including the warm-ups) in the ongoing tournament, team India looks in a great touch with all three departments geared up and the players delivering at the crucial times. Pakistan, on the other hand, has been able to pull things in their favor thanks to some crucial bowling figures and genuine batting performances.
The only defeat India faced was against Sri-Lanka to which the experts refer as a much needed ‘wake-up call’ for team India. The tournament has already witnessed major upsets with South-Africa and England loosing to Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively.
India will look to avoid any such turn-around and would like to continue their good run while Pakistan would be hoping for some seriously good performances in all the departments to turn the things in their favor.
It will be the fourth time when the neighboring countries will play against each other in the ICC knockout games. Having a 3-0 lead, team India is the favorite ahead of the mouth-watering final on June 18th. While there were many talks around the town ahead of this big clash, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli played down the hype by calling the clash against Pakistan as ‘any other game.’
“We’re taking it like any other game, I know that’s boring, but that’s our mindset.” the skipper said at the post- match press conference.
The last time when India saw Pakistan in an ICC final was the ICC T20 world cup final in Johannesburg. Under the captaincy of MS Dhoni India outplayed Pakistan in the thrilling encounter.
It is notable that MS Dhoni had won the first ICC tournament as a captain by defeating Pakistan in the finals.
What is quite surprising is that India had lost only one game (against New Zealand) in that tournament before making it to the knockouts. So things automatically seem in place for the current skipper Virat Kohli who would want to fill in the large shoes of his predecessor.