Pakistan spin maestro Saeed Ajmal was previously the most successful Pakistani bowler in Champions Trophy, after he grabbed eight wickets in 2009 edition. "Throughout the whole time, Morgs and the rest of the guys have known that we're not the finished article". The match vs India was Pakistan's attempt at making a low budget superhero movie, the plan was to contain and outscore India; it was like watching superman vs the Green Arrow, we all know who wins that fight. "They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not on the basis of their performances", Sohail said.
"Their coach Trevor Bayliss has always asked for them to play smart cricket, not just gung-ho cricket. We are well aware of everyone's calibre and if you do well we will praise you and vice-versa", the former captain concluded. There were moments that made you gush and appreciate the artistry of Pakistan's bowling but Pakistan's batting made you realize this wasn't going to be a huge box office success. "So, they should keep themselves level-headed, otherwise they would not be able to go much ahead".
Pakistan booked their place in the Champions Trophy final with a crushing eight-wicket win over England in Cardiff on Wednesday. Having been rewarded past year for showing up in full voice despite four consecutive defeats in the previous fortnight, the Pakistan faithful were rewarded again for their loyal support on Wednesday.
"The likes of Sarfraz (Ahmed) and his boys are used to all this". "It is exciting", he said of the prospect of leading his country in Test cricket for the first time.
Babar Azam bats against England in the semi-final. "How?", Ganguly told India Today in an exclusive chat. It was a clear mis-match but Pakistan were the superior team. "I'm sure there will be [regrets] when you look back on it", said Root.
Sarfraz rescued Pakistan with an unbeaten 61 after they collapsed against Sri Lanka but, two days on, there was no repeat of that batting slump.
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"I thought we bowled okay but certainly defending 200 we have to produce a well above-par bowling performance".
Sarfraz is hoping Amir will be fit for the showcase game at The Oval.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh's match with Australia rained off.
Chasing a below-par 212, Pakistan on Wednesday rode on a brilliant 118-run opening stand between Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) before Babar Azam (38 not out) and Ali helped the team with a 55-run second-wicket partnership to set their date with the victor of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh, on Sunday.
India and Pakistan have only met in one ICC final - the 2007 World Twenty20 showpiece, which was won by India.