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India and Pakistan face off in dream cricket final

India start favourites to retain the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday but arch-rivals Pakistan stand between them and victory.

Some estimates suggest Sunday's match between the sub-continental cricket giants at the Oval in south London could attract a worldwide television audience of more than a billion viewers.

India opener Shikhar Dhawan is the tournament's leading run scorer with 317 runs in four matches and will look to continue his momentum against Pakistan.

The 25-year-old left-armer missed Pakistan's shock eight-wicket semi-final win over tournament hosts England in Cardiff on Wednesday with a back spasm.

Ten years ago, India and Pakistan had clashed against one another in an ICC final and Gambhir's knock of 77 helped India sail through wherein MS Dhoni lifted his first ICC Champions Trophy.

And the former Pakistan all-rounder insisted all the burden of expectation was now on India's shoulders.

"They are ranked higher than us - so everyone is talking about India, India".

The surprising absence of new-ball swing throughout this tournament will likely make Pakistan's task of early strikes hard, especially on a surface at The Oval that is traditionally favourable to batting and has hosted two 600-plus run matches already in the tournament.

Earlier, in 2002, we had seen two teams sharing the Champions Trophy and they are India and Sri Lanka as the final was washed out on an actual day and on the reserve day as well.

"Let's hope we can put out our A game again tomorrow", he said, "because if we can, and I said it before the England game, if we put our A game together and do the basics well, we can beat anybody".

After Friday's practice, Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said of Amir: "He bowled today without any problem whatsoever. It has played as though it has nothing to lose, with a freedom to express its skills, which is commendable considering the situation it found itself in", Hussey, who has played 79 Tests and 185 ODIs for Australia amassing 6235 and 5442 runs respectively, added.

India, on the other side have looked a balanced side with both their batting and bowling departments having managed to click throughout the tournament. It is like the Ashes.it is bigger than the Ashes - and expectation is high from both nations, insane about cricket.

It's a dream final for both fans and cricketers alike. "This is the game they want, but it is up to us how we handle the pressure on the day". Mohammed Shami is their other option, but considering he has not bowled since the warm-up games, it would be surprising if he comes in for a big final, despite his exceptional record against Pakistan.

"We are aiming to win this tournament", he said. For instance, if one bets Rs 100 on India, and Virat Kohli's team wins, one will get back around Rs 147, according to Betfair.

When asked about the pressure on the Pakistan skipper at this moment, he said: "Where is the pressure?"

"After the India match, we just motivated the guys", he said.

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