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On June 4, Pakistan suffered a 124-run defeat to India in their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 opener at Birmingham. A match where India outplayed them and started with their title defence with a massive win. Now, as the two teams come face-to-face for the summit clash, former World Cup-winning captain, Imran Khan believes the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side has chance got a golden opportunity to avenge its humiliating defeat to India in their first match of the tournament.
“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,” he said on ‘Samaa’ television channel.
Indian openers, who are in their finest form in the ongoing tournament, posses a threat to Pakistan’s dreams of winning their maiden Champions Trophy title. The 1992 World Cup winning captain feels Pakistan must learn from their previous mistakes and must avoid putting India to bat first if they win the toss on Sunday.
“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,” he said.
It is the first time that Pakistan has made it to ICC Champions Trophy final. The 64-year old pacer heaped praise for Sarfraz’s captaincy. “I am really impressed to see that Sarfraz has turned out to be such a bold captain,” Imran concluded.
After losing to India, Pakistan have turned their fortunes around and managed to eke out wins against South Africa, Sri Lanka and England. However, they face a tough task on Sunday as they take on title favourites at The Oval.