Former World Cup winning captain, Imran Khan said Pakistan have got a golden opportunity in the Champions Trophy final 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,” he said on “Samaa” television channel.
“It was humiliating how badly we lost that match and we can turn things around now,” he added.
Imran regarded as Pakistan’s best captain after he led them to the 1992 World Cup title said Pakistan needed to learn from the mistakes it made against India in that match. Imran also advised Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed to avoid putting India into bat first if he won the toss in the final.
“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.
But he warned against India in the big final, Pakistan needed to bat first.
“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.”
“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,” he added.
Imran also praised the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed.”I am really impressed to see that Sarfraz has turned out to be such a bold captain,” Imran said.
Imran’s teammate and close ally, Javed Miandad said the Champions Trophy final could prove to be the gateway for the restoration of bilateral cricket series with India.
“I think we should put aside political issues and try to play more cricket. I want to see revival of bilateral cricket,” the former captain said.
Miandad was not willing to pick a favourite for the final on Sunday.
“If I talk fair then 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,” he said.
“What is important is how many players do you have on 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.”
Miandad gave a 50-50 chance to both teams to win the final. The former captain, Aamir Sohail conceded that India was a better side than Pakistan but said complacency could be their downfall.
“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.”
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