ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final: India vs Pakistan, 5 things Virat Kohli's men did wrong

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18:  Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan celebrates reaching his century during the ICC Champions Trophy Final between India and Pakistan at The Kia Oval on June 18, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
The young Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman slammed a big hundred in the final after an early let off

A Fakhar Zaman special and a mesmeric opening spell from Mohammad Amir helped Pakistan stun India in the finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy at The Oval. The highly rated opening batsman from Pakistan made full use of an early reprieve to dig into the Indian bowling and race to a fine hundred.

The veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez then played some eye-catching strokes alongside Imad Wasim, promoted ahead of Sarfraz Ahmed, to take Pakistan to a highly competitive 338.

Zaman was brilliant but Amir overshadowed him with a game-changing opening spell that accounted for Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. He broke the back of the Indian batting line-up before Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan wrecked the middle-order.

Hardik Pandya's lusty blows were fun to watch but they were never going to get India close to Pakistan's mammoth score. The game had been lost way before that and on that note here are five things that India did wrong in the all-important final.

#5 The all-important extras

That extras cost India in the finals would be an understatement. One no-ball from Jasprit Bumrah turned the game in Pakistan's favour. In the fourth over of the Pakistan innings, Bumrah induced an outside edge off Fakhar Zaman that Dhoni held on to only for Marais Erasmus to extend the dreaded hand to the right, signalling a no-ball.

The extras did not stop there as all of India's main bowlers bowled wides aplenty. Ashwin bowled two on the trot and Jadhav followed suit in the final stages. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya bowled overhead wides to complete an erratic bowling display.

#4 Persisting with the ineffective Ashwin

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 28: Ravichandran Ashwin of India celebrate sthe wicket of Mohammad Naveed of the UAE during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between India and the United Arab Emirates at WACA on February 28, 2015 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Ashwin was expected to be a trump card for India but struggled in the final

Ravichandran Ashwin was expected to be a huge weapon for India in the Champions Trophy final, especially after he stepped up admirably in the game against Bangladesh in the semi-finals. But the off-spinner was way off target today, persisting with a leg-side line to Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali, neither of whom had any problem negotiating the spinner.

Even more baffling was Kohli’s decision to persist with Ashwin in the middle overs despite him showing little to no signs of taking a wicket. That the magical fingers of Kedar Jadhav weren't utilised to Zaman is bizarre considering that the middle-order batsman showed he could flight the ball as well as anybody in the previous game.

#3 Not capitalising on Zaman's wicket

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Mohammad Hafeez of Pakistan hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy Final match between India and Pakistan at The Kia Oval on June 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
India could not grab the game by the scruff of the neck after Zaman's wicket

That India let Fakhar Zaman race to a run a ball hundred is in itself a crime but what was even more appalling was the manner in which they allowed the likes of Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim to dominate the death overs. Kedar Jadhav broke through with Babar Azam's wicket but he is no death bowler and giving him an extra over wasn't warranted.

The bowling was scrappy and the experienced Hafeez kept the scoreboard ticking at a rapid pace. With the onus on Pakistan to score big after the platform they had set, India should have tried to tighten the noose with new batsmen at the crease. But Hafeez and Wasim never backed down and took Pakistan to a pretty handy total.

#2 The two big wickets, middle order not stepping up

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Mohammad Amir of Pakistan celebrates after claiming the wicket of India's Virat Kohli during the ICC Champions Trophy Final match between India and Pakistan at The Kia Oval on June 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Mohammad Amir got rid of India's skipper in the third over of the innings

While India's success in the tournament stemmed from steady opening partnerships from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, that wasn't to be on the big day. Mohammad Amir breathed fire at The Oval and after taking two balls across Rohit, brought one back into him to trap him in front off the third ball of the innings.

With Rohit dismissed early, India badly needed Kohli and Dhawan to carry on since the middle-order had barely been tested in the tournament. But the Indian skipper looked lost against a confident Amir.

The Pakistani seamer forced an outside edge in his very next over but Azhar Ali put down a sitter. Unfortunately, the skipper could not take advantage of it as he departed the next ball, edging Amir to point to reduce India to 6/2. India still had a scary looking middle-order but they wilted under pressure after being exposed early in the innings.

#1 Hardik Pandya's run out

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18:  Hardik Pandya of India hits out for six runs during the ICC Champions Trophy Final between India and Pakistan at The Kia Oval on June 18, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Despite some aggressive batting from Hardik Pandya, India fell short by a big margin

Although the three top men were dismissed early, India still believed as they had a rather strong middle order. However, panic set in and except for Hardik Pandya, none of the Indian middle order batsmen put up a fight. The hard-hitting all-rounder went on a six-hitting spree, clubbing Shadab Khan for three sixes on the trot before a mix-up with Jadeja resulted in his run-out.

Pandya looked in sublime touch and seemed intent on bringing India close to the target. However, with him on 76, Jadeja pushed one to cover while Pandya set off for a non-existent run. Jadeja hadn't called him through and did not bother sacrificing his wicket either as Pandya found himself on the same side as the Indian spinner. The accuracy of Hafeez's throw barely mattered as there was no way back for Pandya or India.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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