Once bitten Pakistan primed for Trophy final

India are the favorites heading into Sunday's ICC final.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is confident the win over Eoin Morgan's men can be the springboard to lifting the trophy.

The men in green came into the ICC Champions Trophy as the lowest-ranked of all eight teams and started the tournament with an error-strewn performance against India, sliding to a 124-run defeat.

And Azhar believes the fact that four of their likely starting XI for Sunday's final now have a maiden clash against India under their belts will make them better equipped to handle the heat at The Oval on Sunday.

"We don't take any opposition for granted and we are looking to play some great cricket here".

"The biggest thing is to stay off social media", said Kohli with a smile when answering one of the many pressure-related questions.

"We had some honest conversations after that and the guys took it on the chin, ' said Arthur, who is quietly rebuilding a coaching reputation badly damaged by the 'homework affair" in his ill-fated spell in charge of Australia. "It is bigger than the Ashes-and expectation is high from both nations, insane about cricket".

All said and done, there is no doubt that it will be a cracker of a final, with Pakistan bolstered by the return of Mohd Amir who missed the semi-final against England.

India posted an impressive 319/3, before rain shortened the match and Pakistan were set a revised target of 289 to win in 41 overs.

After opener Shikhar Dhawan got out at his individual score of 46, Sharma and Kohli shared an unbeaten 187-run partnership to help India cross the line, that too easily.

The neighbouring countries have moved on from years of political conflicts but emotions will run high as millions of supporters around the world watch the first major cricket final between the teams since the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup. I know after the first game everyone wasn't happy, but the boys have lifted themselves and after that we've brought the smiles back to the nation. Fast bowling at its very best, and what a time for Amir to produce the sort of magic spell he used to be known for. So what we've produced after that doesn't come as any surprise because that's how we trained, and that's what we worked at.

According to the reports doing to rounds on internet, the former Indian captain had met Sarfraz and his wife after India defeated Bangladesh.

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

And that's why, the 28-year-old India skipper said he was hoping for a very well contested Champions trophy final.

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), K. Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.

  • Julie Sanders