Coach: Pakistan mindset better for CT final after India loss

Pakistan were hammered by India in their first match of the tournament, but have been transformed since then and coasted past well-fancied hosts England to take their spot in in the final for the first time.

The Men in Blue have won all three of their previous matches against Pakistan in the knockout stages of International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments to date but Azhar feels there was no reason that the sequence could be extended this weekend as well.

Victory over India will be a huge prize for Arthur's charges in a sell-out match set to attract one of sport's biggest-ever global broadcast audiences.

'The way the players have dragged themselves off the canvas after that defeat by India has been awesome, ' said Pakistan's South African coach Mickey Arthur.

Gambhir himself is not going through a great time on the pitch as he was handed a four-match suspension from domestic cricket due to his alleged unpleasant confrontation with the head coach of the Delhi state side - KP Bhaskar. "This is the second game in the same tournament so I definitely think this time around we will have a better response".

The Pakistan coach believes that if they can do that, they have got a real chance of getting to India's underbelly. Pakistan's bowling may have improved after their shambolic first game, but India's batting has been rock steady.

The stage is once again set for the game that always brings the two nations to a standstill, as the fierce arch rivals India and Pakistan clash in the Champion Trophy final on Sunday at The Oval, London. These include a bet for Kohl to take a catch at 13 to 8 odds, a bet for India to win with Rohit Sharma as top Indian Batsman at 6 to 1 odds, and a bet for Babar Azam (3 to 1) to be the top Pakistan run scorer.

"If you're too distracted listening to too many suggestions or praise or criticism, then you can't focus on what you need to think as a sportsman first to be able to lead the team and then help the others in the team". Whereas, before the Edgbaston game, their attention was largely on India - what to expect and how to beat them - they have now decided it is better to concentrate on their own strengths rather than lingering over the details of the daunting challenge that awaits.

"People are just doing the normal things that they do in any practice session, and that's the kind of approach we have maintained throughout the tournament".

The 25-year-old too is confident in his fitness for the final, saying: "I am fast gaining fitness". I don't know how those guys do that. "I would go out to some restaurants with my friends and support team India".

There has been no official dialogue between the countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in India three years ago.

Like Pakistan, India has tried to treat the final as just another game.

"Sri Lanka batted exceptionally well there".

So all the very best to Indian Cricket Team. While bowling also, we have got wickets when we attacked.

  • Julie Sanders