India will lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 to be held at the Oval on Sunday. Recent history and records favour the defending champions in the final, but Pakistan's pacers can pose a threat to India’s famed batting line-up.
This is the 4th time India have reached the last hurdle of the tournament, and if they win, they will become the first team to clinch three Champions Trophy titles. For Pakistan, who lost to India in their tournament opener, this is the first entry into the finals of the coveted 50-overs tournament.
Both the teams are in tremendous form and for fans living across the India-Pakistan border, the marquee match couldn’t have been more euphoric. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 5 key player battles from the closing game of Champions Trophy 2017:
#1 Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Fakhar Zaman
While Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s excellent performances did not come as a huge surprise, since he performed well in the Indian Premier League as well, Fakhar Zaman was the package that took everyone by awe.
Zaman, a 27-year old opener who had not made his ODI debut before the Champions Trophy, has become the force Pakistan needed in their dull batting line-up. He has two consecutive half centuries in the last couple of games, and plays the short ball very well.
Although an attacking batsman, the left-hander is similar to Quinton de Kock in approach, whom Kumar had tamed at will. Not to forget, the pacer fancies bowling to left-handed batsmen, just ask Soumya Sarkar of Bangladesh.