India against Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy has been set up as a spectacular way to culminate the tournament that brings together the best eight in the world. After their tournament opener, these two will draw curtains on the mega ICC event at The Oval in London. The tensions run high and many lose sense of perspective. Yes it is a big, high-profile contest but not enough to intimidate someone. And that is exactly what happened to former India captain Sourav Ganguly.
Ganguly, while trying to leave the stadium following Pakistan’s semi-final win against England, was heckled by the fans of the team in green. The fans formed a huddle all around the car which had Ganguly in the driving seat. All this while the fans chanted ‘Pakistan! Pakistan!’ with many carrying the country’s flag in their hands. Some yelled ‘Sourav! Sourav!’ and ‘Ganguly! Ganguly!’ to get his attention. However all he could do was muster a polite wave at the fans, a smile before driving away as security maintained tight vigil.
Pakistan booked their place in the final of the Champions Trophy after beating England by eight wickets in a massive turnaround to their disappointing start to the tournament. Chasing a below-par 212 for a place in the final at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Pakistan had little trouble in coasting to victory in their first final entry in the tournament’s history.
Later India booked their own place in the final after beating Bangladesh in yet another straightforward nine-wicket win for the Virat Kohli-captained side.
The final will see one of the two edge the other in their Champions Trophy head-to-head. Coming into the tournament, India trailed 1-2 but the comprehensive 124 run win in the group contest made it 2-2. Now the final, on Sunday, will give one of the two sides the advantage. If history is anything to go by, India are firm favourites.