Former Pakistan cricketers have their say before the CT 2017 final
All of them believe India is a strong line up but hope Pakistan can put up their A game on the night that matters.
Updated - Jun 17, 2017 1:37 pm
With less than 24 hours to go for the most anticipated match in the Champions Trophy, former Pakistani cricketers are trying their best to give advice to the Pakistan team before they take on the arch-rivals India at The Oval on Sunday (18th June). Preparations for both the teams are going in full swing and looking to tick all boxes before the clash. India and Pakistan will be looking to put their best performance to lift the title.
India and Pakistan will be looking to put their best performance to lift the title. While the Men in Blue are the defending champions and would want to ensure that they retain the trophy, Pakistan on the other hand look at it as a bright chance to get their hands on the silverware for the first time.
Their World Cup winning skipper Imran Khan termed this match as a ‘golden opportunity’ for Pakistan to avenge its humiliating defeat on the fortnight.
Talking to a television channel, Imran said, “I think we have got a great chance to restore our pride in the final because of the way we lost the first match to India. It was humiliating how badly we lost that match and we can turn things around now.”
The Men in Green gave only been able to win one 50 overs title till now and it was the skipper who led them to glory in 1992, Imran Khan played a pivotal role in creating history for the team that hasn’t been able to reflect it ever since. He advised the young Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to let India bat first in the match and not apply the strategy they have been applying in past couple of matches. He also termed India a ‘strong line-up’.
“India have a very good batting line-up and if they put up a big total it will bring pressure on us. The strategy of fielding first against other teams has worked well for Sarfraz against other teams as the spinners throttled the opposition in the middle overs and Hassan Ali bowled really impressively,” Imran said.
“India has a strong batting and if they put up a big total it will mean double pressure for us. I mean the pressure on our bowlers and the pressure of keeping up with the run rate on the scoreboard,” he added. “Our real strength is our bowling and we must bat first if we win the toss. Our batting is not that good our bowling is better.”
Imran also praised the captaincy of Sarfraz which has led them to finals by saying, “I am really impressed to see that Sarfraz has turned out to be such a bold captain.”
Another famous cricketer from Pakistan one of their batting greats Miandad said that events like these will help in the restoration of relation between two nation which would eventually help the populous to see these two teams play more often.
“I think we should put aside political issues and try to play more cricket. I want to see revival of bilateral cricket,” he said.
When asked to pick his favorite team for clash on Sunday, he said, “If I talk fair than yes India at this time has a better team and more depth but I always believe that in a big match it is the moment that matters. What is important is how many players do you have in your team who are willing to put up their hands and perform on that day. I think Pakistan team has some good players who could be match winners.”
Aamir Sohail, a former captain, conceded that India was a better side than Pakistan on 4th June but even then favored Pakistan to lift 2017 Champions Trophy.
He said, “After a long time India has three or four good pace bowlers, good spinners and a very strong batting line-up and a very shrewd wicketkeeper. They are better than Pakistan player to player but I think they could get complacent and this could work to Pakistan’s advantage.”