As Champions Trophy reaches its finale, with arch-rivals India and Pakistan to square up for the cup, the commentary panel has made India the favorites to take home the coveted trophy.
Everyone including the likes of Shane Warne, Simon Doull, Ricky Ponting, Ian Bishop - with the exception of former South Africa captain Graeme Smith said India should win. Smith predicted a Pakistan win, he said, “Pakistan will win the toss and bowl first, Hasan Ali will have a cracking spell and then Pakistan will chase the total."
However, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has backed his team to overcome the odds and win the Champions Trophy.
“We finished our preparation with a good chat. The guys aren’t delusional to what is expected of them but they are genuinely excited. The Edgbaston game I thought they were really really calm, but the team is very very excited right now. There is a fire in that dressing room," said Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur during the pre-match press conference.
“We came here with the opinion that we want to win it (Champions Trophy). Yes, it has been great to be in the final from where we were at and the entire credit goes to the players. The way they have played after the beating at Edgbaston has been amazing. They have played the brand of cricket that we wanted to. Reality would be a nice victory tomorrow, that would be fantastic," said Arthur.
This is the first time that Pakistan have entered the final of the Champions Trophy and Arthur believes that it is a perfect result to show that they are heading into the right direction. And the Pakistan coach also said that a win against India on Sunday will be massive for the players.
“Victory will mean a massive amount to them. The guys have been special and I can’t praise them enough. After the defeat against India, we had some honest conversation amongst ourselves and the way these players have played after that has been exceptional," said Arthur.
“For us, it will be a clincher in terms of the brand of cricket that we want to play, where we want to take the team. The focus after tomorrow will definitely be the 2019 World Cup. The focus will be on creating a depth in squad so that when we come here in 2019, we can give it our best shot. A victory tomorrow will be nice way to show that we definitely are on the right track," he added.