India To Win ICC Champions Trophy Final

India and Pakistan will duel it out for the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval on Sunday.

Virat Kohli’s men are aiming to win the competition for the second time on the bounce, having triumphed in England four years ago.

India are in prime form having dispatched Bangladesh in the semi-finals with relative ease.

Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim’s 123-run partnership had given the Tigers hope, but solid bowling from Kedhar Jedhav and Jasprit Bumrah limited the total to 264 from their 50 overs.

India’s reply put Mashrafe Mortaza’s men on the back foot as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan found the boundary with regularity.

Dhawan was denied his fourth knock of over 50 in the tournament, but Sharma and Kohli went from strength-to-strength. The former notched his first century of the competition, while the captain fell four runs short of a ton as India claimed a nine-wicket win with almost 10 overs to spare.

Pakistan were not given much of a chance to advance from their semi-final against England, but produced an outstanding performance to dump the host nation out of the tournament.

Hasan Ali led the attack to limit the Three Lions to only 211 in advantageous conditions for the Green Shirts at Sophia Gardens.

Their batsmen then took the initiative to guide their side over the line, with Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali and Babar Zaman scoring freely to defeat Eoin Morgan’s men.

Pakistan will now face off against their old enemy, who bested them in their match of the competition, but Sarfraz Ahmed’s side have played with renewed vigour since their opening-game defeat and should pose a strong challenge to India.

India’s Top Batsman

Sharma's start will be key for India

Credit: Reuters

India are in the fortunate position heading into the final, with the top three players in outstanding form. Dhawan has led the way and looks to be a certainty to top the run charts for the second tournament on the bounce, with 317 runs from his four innings.

Sharma’s century against Bangladesh has left him hot on the heels of his team-mate, only 13 runs shy of his benchmark. The 30-year-old has been in impressive form since arriving in England, with only one failure to his name during his side’s win over South Africa.

With their openers operating at the peak of their powers at the top of the innings India are well placed to either set or chase down mammoth totals without putting their star man Kohli under pressure.

Both Dhawan and Sharma have the ability to play the anchor role or the aggressor, with the former taking on the position of power player against Bangladesh before he was dismissed for 46. He will be determined to fire in the final and capitalise on his good form and it would be no surprise to see the 31-year-old lead the run column at The Oval.

Kohli will also be a lurking presence behind the two openers, fresh off his unbeaten 96 against the Tigers. He was allowed to play a composed innings and was not force to be overly extravagant in his strokeplay to secure the victory, which is when he is at his most dangerous.

However, Sharma’s performance on Thursday highlighted his class at the crease and at odds of +320   with PaddyPower he is the option to take to lead India in runs in the final due to his adaptability.

Pakistan’s Top Batsman

The Green Shirts stunned England with the ease of their victory at Sophia Gardens. Where the Three Lions struggled to adapt to the used pitch, Pakistan’s batsmen thrived in the conditions and were able to take the attack to put Morgan’s men on the back foot.

Fakhar Zaman missed the first game of the tournament, but was drafted in to open alongside Azhar Ali and he has offered a refreshing change of pace at the top of the innings.

He has taken the initiative to get his side off to strong starts and his ability to hit the boundary with regularity has eased the pressure on Pakistan’s middle order.

Zaman’s knock of 57 off just 58 deliveries put Pakistan on the path to victory against England – his second half-century on the bounce following his exploits against Sri Lanka.  Due to the quality of India’s batting line-up his display will be crucial to the Green Shirts’ prospects of claiming the crown.

Ali played the anchor role against the Three Lions, notching a score of 76 off 100 deliveries. He was aggressive when the situation called for it and also patient when he needed to be to put his team into a match-winning position.

Should Ali bat for the duration of the innings that will be a good sign for Pakistan. Therefore, backing the 32-year-old at odds +350   with BetFred is a smart punt for the final.

Top Bowler

Ali has to fire for Pakistan

Both sides boast quality bowlers in their ranks, but the man that has taken the tournament by storm is Hasan Ali. The 23-year-old has been nothing short of outstanding in his last three matches after enduring a poor outing – like the majority of his team-mates – against India in the opener.

Ali has led the wicket column in the Champions Trophy with 10 wickets, surpassing Josh Hazlewood at the top during his three-wicket performance against England. He changed the game when the Three Lions were looking fairly set by removing Jonny Bairstow.

His three strikes came at a cost of just 35 runs in his 10 overs, and Ali’s ability to change the pace and use reverse swing to his advantage makes him a deadly customer at any time during the innings.

India have their own star with the ball late in the innings as Bangladesh found to their peril as Bumrah prevented them from pushing towards 280.

The pace bowler will do his utmost to strike with regularity and prevent Pakistan from making a significant score at The Oval with his unique style of his delivery.

Both men have the quality, but expect Ali to loom large if Pakistan are to have a chance of emerging from the contest with a victory at odds of +550   with 32Red.

Winner

India hammered Pakistan in their opening match of the tournament, winning comfortably by 124 runs via the Duckworth/Lewis method.

They also won the previous meeting between the two sides in Adelaide at the 2015 World Cup, with action limited due to political tensions between the two nations.

On the surface Virat Kohli’s men appear to have too much strength for Pakistan to contend with at The Oval, although the Green Shirts have proven to delight in their underdog status, defeating South Africa and England.

However, India’s experience in big matches will stand them in good stead and should allow Kohli’s side to clinch back-to-back triumphs at odds of -213 with BetVictor, extending Pakistan’s major trophy drought.

Tips Summary

India To Beat Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy Final
Sunday 18th June 10:30am BST
Odds: -213

Rohit Sharma To Be India’s Top Batsman
Sunday 18th June 10:30am BST
Odds: +320

Azhar Ali To Be Pakistan’s Top Batsman
Sunday 18th June 10:30am BST
Odds: +350

Hasan Ali To Be Top Bowler
Sunday 18th June 10:30am BST
Odds: +550

Hasan Ali
ICC Champions trophy
india
pakistan
Virat Kohli

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