It’s always a pressure cooker game, played with unmatched intensity. Even a warm-up game generates more interest around the world than actual games. To top it all... for the fans on either side, it won’t matter if their team doesn’t even make it to the semis, as long as it comes out victorious here.
For once, Pakistan & India will not be playing on an island. Pakistan-India matches are usually separate events within the main event, oblivious to the larger picture of the tournament, but this game doesn’t seem to be the usual matter of life and death. For once, this match, though the first big clash of the Champions Trophy in terms of traditional rivals coming face to face, is more about the cricket.
India captain MS Dhoni sees no wisdom behind Pakistan captain Younis Khan playing against them with a broken finger, he deems a serious risk involved in Khan's decision to play ICC Champions Trophy crucial match despite a injury – for which he was supposes to take rest for atleast four weeks.
"I don't think there is any wisdom involved in it. If you have a broken finger, you should act according to the doctor's advice. It is not all that wise to play a competitive match as by doing so you expose yourself to serious injury,“ said Dhoni in a pre-match conference at Supersports park, Centurion. “And any further hit and you could be sidelined for almost three to four months."
Dhoni also play down identifying three for four Pakistani dangerous players – who could damage India. “Its would be a big mistake if we identify three dangerous players [ Who prove dangerous against India], infact Pakistan whole team is dangerous,” Dhoni said.
For Younis its a normal game but geared up to face India and despite having an finger injury he is more passionate to play instead to bunk the crucial game. “We are not fighter there is no revenge sort of wold will be appropriate to use. For me its a normal game as when we put a lot of pressure in you you suddenly collapse and at the moment I am just motivating my boys, that it is a normal game whoever wins India or Pakistan at the end cricket must win,” Younis said.
"We have a balanced side, but it depends on the day how we handle pressure against a side like India. Whoever handles the pressure will win," Pakistan captain Younis Khan told reporters on the eve of the match,” Khan added.
Pakistan (probable) 1 Imran Nazir, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Younis Khan (capt.), 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Mohammad Yousuf, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, 9 Mohammad Aamer, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Saeed Ajmal
India (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Virat Kohli/Dinesh Karthik, 7 Yusuf Pathan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9, 10 and 11 three out of Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra.
Its going to be a great One day match full of excitment and thrill. Each team will try its best to get the first points in this pool of death with mighty Australia being the third team. Best of Luck to Pakistan.