Highlights India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, cricket score and result: Kohli and Co win convincingly

  • So, that brings an end to our coverage. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did to bring it to you. The match wasn't that exciting but it had its moments. Anyways, the Champions Trophy coverage will continue. Tomorrow Australia take on Bangladesh. Do join us for that match. For now its good bye and take care. 

  • Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed: We were not upto the mark. We were in control upto 40 overs but we lost our way in the last few overs. I think we should try to control our bowling rate in the death overs. 

  • Virat Kohli, India captain: We are right up there with the bat and the ball but not in the field. It was complete performance and took the momentum from the practice matches. We need tighten up our fielding though. All batsmen chipped in with runs. Shikhar and Rohit, last time we won here, the opening partnership was crucial. Rohit took some time going, but he's coming back from an injury, and international cricket is different to IPL and domestic cricket.Yuvi was outstanding and I was feeling a club cricketer in front of him. And Hardik, 18 off five balls, was outstanding. (On the decision to play only one spinner) They play spin really well, and most of them are right handers. In pressure situations, to have mid-on, mid-off up and hit hard lengths, gives us an advantage. Against other sides, we might use two spinners, depending on their strengths.

  • Umang Pabari, Cricket statistician

    Most consecutive victories in ICC Champions Trophy:

    7 - West Indies 
    7 - INDIA* 
    5 - Australia 

  • Umang Pabari, Cricket statistician

    Most consecutive defeats in ICC Champions Trophy:

    9 - Zimbabwe 
    7 - Bangladesh 
    6 - PAKISTAN*
    5 - Kenya 

  • Prem Panicker

    After all those rain interruptions and uncertainties, India complete a thoroughly professional win, dominating with both bat and ball. With the bat, India went deep, a 72-run massacre in the last four overs getting the side well over where they wanted to be. With the ball, every one of the five regular bowlers bowled to their strengths and, barring Bumrah, the other four picked up wickets regularly to ensure that the word 'chase' was always a misnomer when used to describe the Pakistan innings. After the first Pakistan wicket fell, the match was pretty much a damp squib, with none of the electricity associated with India-Pak games.
    For India, two points on the board, and equally importantly, a run rate of +3.02 putting them, for the moment, right on top of the table ahead of South Africa, which also has two points but a run rate of +1.92.
    Seems a bit anal to be talking of run rates, but with the way rain has played spoilsport, there is always the possibility of a game or two being rained out and run rates entering the final calculations.

  • Umang Pabari, Cricket statistician

    Most consecutive defeats in ICC Champions Trophy:

    9 - Zimbabwe 
    7 - Bangladesh 
    6 - PAKISTAN*
    5 - Kenya 

  • Umang Pabari, Cricket statistician

    Most wins for a team against an opposition in ICC events

    12 - INDIA v PAKISTAN* 
    11 - Australia v India 
    11 - Australia v New Zealand 
    11 - England v Sri Lanka 
    11 - Pakistan v Sri Lanka 
    11 - Sri Lanka v New Zealand 
    11 - West Indies v Pakistan 

  • Yuvraj Singh has been adjudged the Man of the Match for a blistering fifty late in the innings. 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 34 overs,Pakistan 164/9 ( Shadab Khan 14 , )

    Umesh resumes. Amir works him on the on side for two, getting nicely behind the line of a short one. And then stays parked on his leg stump, has a swipe at a delivery angling across him to just outside off, gets the toe end of the bat to it, and Kedhar Jadhav at cover holds a sharp straight one cleanly, Pakistan eight down now.

    And Umesh gets another. Makes one climb off the deck, Hasan Ali the new man, pushes defensively, gets it high on the bat and picks out Shikhar Dhawan at midwicket.

    With Wahab Riaz injured, that is the end of the game, Pakistan folding for 164/9 in 33.4 overs, beaten by 125 runs, with 44 balls left in play.

  • India defeat Pakistan by 124 runs as Pakistan's No 11 Wahab Riaz doesn't come out to bat. He injured his foot in the first innings and went off the field during the first innings itself. 

  • Here is Ayaz Memon's analysis as India closed in on a comprehensive win...

  • OUT! Umesh strikes twice in one over. Hasan flicks it uppishly towards mid-wicket and Dhawan takes an easy catch. 

  • OUT! Umesh Yadav takes his second wicket. Amir drives one straight to Kedar Jadhav at covers. 

  • Umang Pabari, Cricket statistician

    Ravindra Jadeja has taken 14 wickets in ICC Champions Trophy so far from six matches which is the second most by any left-arm spinner. 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 33 overs,Pakistan 162/7 ( Shadab Khan 14 , Mohammad Amir 7)

    Very definite feel of everyone going through the motions now. Bumrah takes over from Jadeja, Amir pushes to short cover and runs anyway and yet again a direct throw fractionally misses the stumps with the batsman well short. Seriously, what is with Pakistan's calling and running anyway? The great Inzy made this almost an art form, a comical one, but even by those standards what we are seeing today is incredibly inept.

    Superb bouncer from Bumrah, ball three, surprising the batsman; Shadab swings and somehow connects though his eye was nowhere on the ball, gets one, there is a direct hit that has Bumrah all excited, but the batsman was well home. Single off his hips to Amir completes the over, Pak 161/7, the ask rate -- for what it is worth -- 15.6 and a power play called now.

  • Prem Panicker

    After 32 overs,Pakistan 159/7 ( Shadab Khan 13 , Mohammad Amir 5)

    Umesh takes over now that Hardik has bowled his quota of eight. Shadab on strike, and ball two, has a heave at Umesh, beaten by the pace, gets the top edge and oh good grief, Kedar Jadav at cover gets under the steepling delivery, positions himself nicely, and drops it to Umesh's very evident bemusement.

    They cross for that hit, and then Amir nicks a delivery slanting across him down to third man for one, getting it past Kohli at slip. Bouncer is the response, Amir ducks under it.To the next ball, manages to go up on his toes and play a lifting delivery down on the leg side, gets one.

    Shadab tries to pull at a short ball climbing outside off, has to drag it around a long way, finds mid on. A direct throw hits the non-striker's stumps, there is a bit of an appeal, but Amir was in.

  • Rehan Ul Haq, Islamabad United manager, Freelance Sports Journalist

    When the opposition is more skilled than you, you should try to outsmart them & do the basics right instead Pakistan came into this match with no plan & next to zero application. Firstly the bowling changes made zero sense, then they dropped catches, then they showed no intent with the bat & ran like amateurs between the wickets. India are good enough to beat Pakistan even if Pakistan play to their full potential but Pakistan made sure there was no competition today. 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 31 overs,Pakistan 154/7 ( Shadab Khan 12 , Mohammad Amir 2)

    Jadeja goes over the wicket to Amir, gives one to long off on the drive and reverts to round the wicket for the right handed Shadab who in his turn pushes one onto the off side. Back to over the wicket, with a slip for Amir who defends around his off stump, then pushes and looks for one but can't beat point. He backs away a long way to leg to the last ball -- Jadeja sees him go, and sends down a yorker outside his leg stump that goes under Amir's slash. All three stumps were showing, at the time, plus a couple phantom stumps on either side, and the ball missed them all.

  • Vedam Jaishankar, Journalist and commentator

    This is heading towards another massive defeat for Pakistan. They haven't really been the threat they were  expected to be. Their fielding was a lot of rubbish while the bowling looked ordinary. They failed to get swing, seam, pace or spin and were belted around. The batting was expected to be a lot better. But despite indifferent fielding early on by India, Pakistan are no match. They have been left far behind in terms of skill and fitness. Question is, are they going the West Indies way?

  • Prem Panicker

    After 30 overs,Pakistan 152/7 ( Shadab Khan 11 , Mohammad Amir 1)

    Pandya, into his eighth over which should be his last, unless Virat Kohli decides to keep him on overtime and gives him a ninth -- only one bowler can bowl nine overs given the truncated innings.

    Ball two is fuller and angling in to the off stump, Sarfraz gets behind it and drives, Umesh Yadav at mid on runs across but doesn't bend enough, lets it go to the fence and looks a tad sheepish about it.

    A ball later, the fuller length, banged into the deck, climbs off length and Sarfraz, drawn into the push, foxed by the greater bounce, nicks off to Dhoni. Pakistan lose the 7th, and it is becoming a bit of a procession now.

    Mohammed Amir the new man in, facing Pandya who has two scalps now. And Pandya greets him, second ball, with a sharp bouncer that flies over middle and has Amir ducking. Sends one down short and wide, angling across the left hander who slashes, through point for a single to the man sweeping. Ends the over, six runs and a wicket in it and in case it matters, the ask rate after that over is 13.4 per over.

  • OUT! Hardik gets a second reward for his disciplined bowling. Sarfraz looks to guide one to third man but edges it to Dhoni. The Pakistan captain falls for 15. Pakistan need 138 runs off 69 balls. 

  • Umang Pabari, Cricket statistician

    After 29 overs,Pakistan 147/6 ( Sarfraz Ahmed (C) (W) 11 , Shadab Khan 11)

    Jadeja to Shadab who, after that throw overshot the stumps, had completed the run anyway off the last ball of the previous over. Gets in a tangle to the first couple of balls, then decides enough is enough, goes down on his knee, gets the slog sweep going, and this time hits it clean, high, and hard, over the rope at wide long on. Follows it up by hopping back and getting some muscle into a drive off his hips through midwicket, splitting the field there and finding four. 10 in the over.

  • Prem Panicker

    After 28 overs, Pakistan 136/6 ( Sarfraz Ahmed (C) (W) 11 , Shadab Khan 1)

    Hardik Pandya getting an extended work out here. Makes sense -- they now have the breathing space, and can give Hardik some confidence, some time and space to work things out considering he is playing his first global tournament and fills a pivotal all-rounder's role. Pandya into his 7th over here. Imad Wasim the new man in faces him after Sarfaraz gets one to long on; the first ball he faces is back of a length, on line of off, the left handed Imam has a hit at it and picks out shor cover, Kedar Jadav, clean as a whistle. Six down now for Pak.

    Shadab the new man in, facing Hardik who now has a wicket to go with his good fielding, catching and tidy bowling. On off, pushed on the off side, no run.

    Last ball of the over, and Shadab tries to see if he can get himself run out. Plays straight to Rohit at cover and takes off, takes his own time to turn, isn't in the frame when the throw comes in but it misses the stumps by a bit, so Shadab survives. For now. And you realise just what a miracle Jadeja is with his throws -- ever known him to miss?

  • OUT! Pakistan falling apart and the result is quite evident now. India will win this unless something dramatic happens. Imad drives Hardik straight to covers. Kedar Jadhav catches it and Imad walks back for a golden duck. 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 27 overs,Pakistan 134/5 ( Sarfraz Ahmed (C) (W) 10 , Imad Wasim 0)

    With no turn off this pitch, Jadeja has taken to bowling like a medium pacer bowling off a couple of steps. Fast, fullish, no width, no margin. The pressure tells, Hafeez tries a slog sweep and for the second time in this innings, Jadeja finds a batsman's top edge to the fielder at backward square on the boundary. Pak now 5 down and pretty much out of this. Hafeez started off nicely, but got becalmed midway through hsi knock and couldn't find any way out of jail for all his trying.

    Sarfaraz crossed over when that hit was in the air, so on strike and driving Jadeja's fourth ball through to long on, gets two. Tries a waltz next up down the track but Jadeja sees him, holds the length back and tucks him up. Single ends the over, Pakistan after 27, 134/5. In passing, India at this point were 147/1.

  • OUT! Jadeja seems to be everywhere today. Hafeez looks to sweep him over mid-wicket but fails. He gets the elevation but the connection wasn't there. Bhuvneshwar catches him in the deep. 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 26 overs,Pakistan 131/4 ( Mohammad Hafeez 33 , Sarfraz Ahmed (C) (W) 7)

    Hardik Pandya comes back after that one relief over by Umesh. The first ball is punched to deep midwicket; the batsmen go for two and just beat Dhawan's throw from the deep. Next ball, Hafeez pushes into the covers, and again the sight of Pakistan batsmen running and stuttering and running again, and getting damn near run out. Makes you wonder -- don't you practice calling and running? There's been about half a dozen of these already in this innings.

    Two twos at the start of the over, then singles as the two batsmen roll the strike over with pushes into the outfield. Pandya seems a touch flustered, bowls wide down leg and has to do-over. 7 in the over, which compares with the 10.4 Pak needs to be going at, at this point.

  • Prem Panicker

    After 25 overs,Pakistan 123/4 ( Mohammad Hafeez 27 , Sarfraz Ahmed (C) (W) 6)

    Jadeja, and Sarfaraz does very well -- goes low, front foot well down the track, checks the sweep and controls it, finding the angle to send it very fine to the fine leg boundary. A pushed single to the midwicket region next, and Hafeez back on strike.

    Batsman steps back to leg, then forward to off to throw Jadeja off -- the bowler keeps it on middle, punched wide of cover, gets one. Sarfaraz tries the sweep again, misses, thin inside edge onto his body. And the last ball of that over is full and quick, hurries Sarfraz on the defense, five in the over.

  • Prem Panicker

    After 24 overs,Pakistan 117/4 ( Mohammad Hafeez 26 , Sarfraz Ahmed (C) (W) 1)

    Hardik off. Umesh back on, India looking to his extra pace to enforce some discipline just when Pak batsmen seem to be looking to break out of their shell.

    Ring field, no run. Hafeez pulls the second ball, not short enough for the shot so he has to hit it from below his waist, gets one behind square.

    And wicket, for who else but Jadeja. Malik pushes to behind point, Jadeja from point races around, fields, throws on the run and Malik, who was lucky to escape a run out the first ball he faced, is caught out of his ground by a direct throw.

    Impossibly brilliant fielding, this. Jadeja was running to his left, or stronger side, but he was going at an angle away from the stumps. A regular fielder would have fielded, taken a step to align himself and then thrown -- Jadeja throws with one foot in the air, an extension of his pick up, while completely off balance. And still hits the middle of middle.

    Four wickets down, the experienced Shoaib Malik gone cheap, the asking rate 10 an over now, and the game now looking a tad one-way now. Umesh to Sarfaraz, who gets off the mark with one.

    A quick ball outside off defeats a Hafeez slash, a bouncer on middle has the batsman swinging it around to fine leg, two ends the over. Four runs, the wicket of Malik, so after two overs of hitting by the Pak batsmen, order restored with the return of Umesh.

  • Rehan Ul Haq, Islamabad United manager, Freelance Sports Journalist

    Hafeez first piled on the pressure on Azhar & got him out, now he has run Malik out. This has been a terrible performance from him. He was in the team to bowl a few overs, he didn't do that & now he has done nothing to help Pakistan's run chase. 

  • OUT! Sensational bit of fielding from Ravindra Jadeja. Malik taps a Umesh length delivery towards point and looks for a single. However Hafeez refused the run. Jadeja rushed towards the ball, collected the ball and scored a direct hit at the striker's end - all in one motion. Malik is miles outside the crease and the Indian players huddle around Jadeja to celebrate. 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 23 overs,Pakistan 113/3 ( Mohammad Hafeez 23 , Shoaib Malik 15)

    Jadeja resumes. And Hafeez discovers a sense of purpose. Nice little waltz down the track to the second ball, gets side on to the ball and lofts it over extra cover, then follows it up with a pushed single to long off.

    Malik plays one to point without piercing the field, then comes dancing down to the next one. Jadeja keeps it short, Malik can't get to the pitch but he just goes through with the shot anyway, extending his arm into the loft, straight back over the bowler's head and into the sight screen for six. Ball is gone under the covers, now dormant in front of the screen, so slight hold up in play.

    Time enough to see replays of that shot -- Malik had picked out his area, decided he was going to go, ignored the fact that he wasn't to the pitch and trusted his arm to power the hit anyway.

    Jadeja pushes the length up, hurries into Malik who tries to dab a single to third man, finds the backward point fielder instead. 11 in the over again, so that is 22 runs in two overs since Malik got to the middle. 

  • Vedam Jaishankar, Journalist and commentator

    Mr Sania Mirza is trying to get the Pak innings moving. Two boundaries off successive deliveries from Hardik reveals intent. But Hardik has bowled 5 good overs overall. Malik also slammed a huge six off Jadeja. Pak's only chance is in going after Hardik and Jadeja. But they need to be lucky all the time for that to happen consistently. On the other hand. Pak look set to face another "maukha, maukha" moment in their matches against India. .

  • Prem Panicker

    After 22 overs,Pakistan 102/3 ( Mohammad Hafeez 18 , Shoaib Malik 9)

    Shoaib Malik the new man in, damn near runs himself out first ball, the last of Jadeja's over -- drives to cover, takes off, turns with all the ponderous dignity of the Titanic when he is sent back, and is lucky the direct throw from cover doesn't hit.

    Hardik resumes. Why not -- the man is bowling like a metronome, and Pakistan is yet to find a way out of the jail he has shut them in. And there you go -- Hardik went the whole of the previous over without a bouncer; here he pulls a good one out with just his second ball -- the sort of thing that keeps batsmen from pre-judging him and giving him tap. 

    Errs with the next ball though -- too full and too wide, Malik reaches for it and square drives the four, then to the next ball moves towards his off stump to change the line, takes it off his hips and glances fine for a second successive boundary.

    Short and wide again, outside off and Malik smacks him behind point, gets one. Pandya for once bowling several different lines and lengths, and it shows in the runs he has leaked in this over after four tight ones. Wide of off, Hafeez walks into it, drives, thick outer edge and the ball flies down to third man, single ends the over, 11 in it makes this the most expensive over bowled by the Indians thus far. 

  • Umang Pabari, Cricket statistician

    Shoaib Malik’s batting average of 49.51 against India in ODIs is the second best among all the players who have scored atleast 1500 runs against them in ODIs.

  • Rehan Ul Haq, Islamabad United manager, Freelance Sports Journalist

    Azhar Ali brought up his 50, getting dismissed right after, but Pakistan are miles behind the required rate. Hafeez is playing a baffling innings, lack of intent & lack of ideas. This is absolutely criminal from Hafeez, scoring at a strikerate of 60 when the required rate is above 9. Pakistan are in dire straits, batting to follow is decent but there isn't enough firepower to launch an assault. If India lose from here, they will be supremely disappointed.

  • Prem Panicker

    After 21 overs,Pakistan 91/3 ( Mohammad Hafeez 16 , Shoaib Malik 0)

    With 20 overs gone, we now have a game even if Noah's downpour breaks out next minute. Jadeja continues, and Hafeez works the first ball off his pads through square leg, for one. Azhar tries to come forward, Jadeja -- who pauses for that one instant to read the batsman before releasing the ball -- promptly drags it down short and foils the charge.

    Pushes, drives, slog sweeps -- all they get for it is singles, and finally Azhar tries the slog sweep again, Jadeja has pulled that length back a bit, the resulting higher bounce finds the top edge, Hardik Pandya at deep backward square doesn't have to move to catch that.

    Good hand by Azhar, 50 off 65, but once Shehzad left, the wind seemed to to out of his sails as well, and he's spent the last part of his innings pottering around to very little effect.

  • OUT! Pakistan finally go for a shot and a wicket falls. Azhar Ali sweeps but only manages a top edge towards square leg and Hardik Pandya takes it easily. Jadeja gets his first wicket. Shoaib Malik is the new man in. 

  • FIFTY! Azhar Ali gets to the milestone with a single. It is his 10th half century. 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 20 overs,Pakistan 88/2 ( Azhar Ali 49 , Mohammad Hafeez 14)

    Hardik Pandya into his 4th. No change in plan for the Indian all-rounder -- just back of good length or on length, bang on line of off. Seemingly predictable, but neither batsman able to make any kind of headway against this stuff. They are staying parked in their crease, and that is likely because Hardik uses that bouncer well, sharp enough to put the doubt in the batsman's mind and keep him from coming forward to the bowler.

    The one time in this over Hardik changes his line and bowls middle and leg, Hafeez seems surprised, saw it late, swung anyway, missed and took it in the tummy.

    This really is a spectacle -- Hardik is bowling the same ball over and over and the batsmen are trying everything they know, but can't seem to get it off the square. just a single in that over, believe it or not -- off the last ball, with a push to long on.

  • Vedam Jaishankar, Journalist and commentator

    Unbelievably indifferent fielding by India. Normally dependable fielders Bhuvi, Yuvraj, Kedar Jadhav are making silly mistakes and easing pressure off Pakistan. India need to lift the level of their fielding to ensure that Pak fight for every run. That's not happening at this point of time. Bowlers though have kept it tight. But they need the fielders to step up.

  • Vedam Jaishankar, Journalist and commentator

    Surprising to see the way Bhuvi is fielding. He is usually a safe fielder. But today he has goofed up with ground fielding and catching. That catch he spilled at long on would have given Hardik Pandya his first CT wicket. He has to wait a while longer now. India must tighten their fielding. Pressure could play tricks later in the game 

  • Prem Panicker

    After 19 overs,Pakistan 87/2 ( Azhar Ali 49 , Mohammad Hafeez 13)

    Jadeja begins with a rare error, dragging the ball down short; it sits up and Hafeez smacks it through square leg for four. The next ball is pushed on the off side and this time Virat Kohli misfields -- gives the single where there was none, from his position at shortish cover. A bit shoddy, the normally reliable Indian fielding.

    Jadeja straightens one on the stumps, quick through the air, full in length. Hits a zahar on the pad, another huge appeal, not given, possible for marginal drift down the leg side, and again the Indians chose not to review.

    Just that four off the half-tracker first ball and one single, Jadeja races through another tidy over.

  • Prem Panicker

    After 18 overs,Pakistan 82/2 ( Azhar Ali 49 , Mohammad Hafeez 8)

    Hardik continues, with Hafeez facing. Tried a couple of dot balls the last over, one was wide, the rebowled version went for four on the ramp to third man, so Hardik goes back to the good length. An inner edge on the drive gets Hafeez a single on the on side.

    The field is now spread around the ring, not drawn up close. Both batsmen however struggling to find timing and power on their pushes. Hardik slips in a bouncer, a quick one, does well this time to keep the line on off, Hafeez pulls but is late on the shot, and it goes through to MS.

    So a lot of heaving and swinging but at the end of it all, just three singles in the 18th, and the ask becoming harder with every passing over.

Preview Saddled by off-field distractions, defending champions India will look to start their 2017 ICC Champions Trophy campaign on a high when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in a Group B encounter at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Edgbaston on Sunday.

The Indian team have brought with themselves a cloud of discontent within the dressing room to English shores, as news of skipper Virat Kohli and a few other senior players not being on the same page with head coach Anil Kumble spread like wildfire.

Indian captain Virat Kohli (L) and Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (R). AFP

Indian captain Virat Kohli (L) and Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (R). AFP

Speculation had been rife ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chose not to automatically extend the tenure of Kumble, choosing instead to advertise the position on their website on 25 May.

As it has emerged now, the decision was made following feedback from Kohli about Kumble's coaching method, which he is said to have described as "intimidating".

The legendary Indian leg-spinner, who has not put a foot wrong since being appointed as the coach, will see out his contract at the end of the eight-team tournament.

But what takes the attention away from the field where India have looked so good in the two warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh, is the fact that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS. Laxman will start looking for new names in London itself.

Though acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary has tried hard to bury the hatchet by saying that there is no conflict between captain and coach, and Kumble giving Kohli throwdowns at nets on Friday in front of media persons, the hornet's nest has surely been stirred.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Ramachandra Guha resigned from his post virtually confirming the frosty relations between Kumble and Kohli.

To make matters worse, in a letter to CoA head Vinod Rai, renowned historian Guha resigned from the four-member panel further highlighting the rift between CoA and the BCCI.

Coming to the much-awaited cricket match, millions of supporters are expected to tune in and watch the teams fight for national pride at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Due to diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, the two teams rarely lock horns against each other barring an International Cricket Council (ICC) event, and the hotly fought battle has over the years drawn a wide range of audience.

For almost 18 years, wars stood in between the two outfits playing each other in a bilateral series until the ice was broken in 1978, but even today matches are few and far between.

The two sides have not played a bilateral series since 2012-2013, and India have refused to juggle with the idea without an end to "cross border terrorism", which essentially means militant incursions along the disputed Kashmir border.

Not only will a victory for either side mean taking a huge step towards the semi-finals in a four-team group which also has Sri Lanka and South Africa, it will also be a diplomatic point-scoring in terms of the stand-off between the two parties.

On the pitch, India would go into the tie as favourites, as former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has also said -- not only because of their emphatic 45 and 240 -run wins in the two warm-up games, but because the opposition doesn't smell the same anymore.

Pakistan just made it to the Champions Trophy as the eighth and final nation ahead of the West Indies, who missed the bus.

Newly-appointed skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will face his stiffest test yet, leading an unfancied Pakistan who have to overcome serious batting deficiencies to be competitive following their struggles in the one-day format in recent years.

Missing the services of explosive opener Sharjeel Khan, who is currently facing a tribunal for spot-fixing and could face a life ban if found guilty, and Umar Akmal, booted out of the squad and sent home for failing two fitness tests; Pakistan will depend heavily on veteran Shoaib Malik and all-rounder Imad Wasim.

For India, it remains to be seen whether seasoned campaigner Yuvraj Singh, who has just recovered from viral fever, is pencilled in the playing XI.

Kohli can depend on his bowling to fire, as the likes of fit-again Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah look in great shape.


India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mahendra singh Dhoni (WK), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Hardik Pandya.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain & WK), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.

With inputs from IANS

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115