'But (now) on the biggest stage it is India v Pakistan.
It wouldn't have taken long until it clicked that instead they would be treated to an encore of the fiercest rivalry in sport: India against Pakistan.
His disappointing run in the IPL tournament is a blessing in disguise for India.
I am heartened by Pakistan's opening partnership of Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali.
However, Sohail's comments after the win over Sri Lanka had angered many Pakistani fans.
Pakistan ready to change history
He's a wicket-taker, and the reason for our wins is that he comes in the middle period and takes wickets. Azhar was confident that his players will good enough to give their best in the high-voltage encounter.
Voicing this concern, a leading cricketing expert said,"More than anything else, Misbah's absence will really hurt India".
Imran also praised the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed.
Sunday's match up will be the first final between the two sides in a decade, following 2007's nail-biting World Twenty20 final that saw India defeat Pakistan by a mere five runs.
Sohail was himself at the heart of the match-fixing scandal that rocked Pakistan cricket in the late 1990s.
Pakistan has defied all expectations, so in a way, that should ease the burden on the players. Along with that a high degree of coordination within the team made the Indian look completely clueless. These matches have been won for you by someone.
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Six years later, and with a Champions Trophy on the line, that number can only be expected to grow. However, he refused to give up on them and said that they will be given chances to improve their game. There is one player who needs to be in the playing eleven if Pakistan is to harbour hopes of winning a major tournament in the near future - Umar Akmal.
Defending the Champions Trophy will also be important as the on-field supremacy could also help India regain some lost ground off the field when the ICC Annual Conference starts a day after the final.
"But both teams would want the weather to be warm". The Indian side played valiantly. They thought that Pakistan will not reach that far.
Going into the match, India would be high on confidence having comprehensively defeated their Asian neighbour by 124 runs in the group stage.
"I believe in my boys. if we win it would be a great gift to the whole nation". I hope the same happens again on Sunday.
"From there to coming back to India and celebrating it with the whole country, it was memorable". Even though we couldn't do it this time maybe we can use the experience in later matches.
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These are just some of the matches played by Pakistan and India. On the other hand, if Pakistan wins, one will earn around Rs 300. So whether you support Indian blue or Pakistani green, make sure you schedule for Sunday is clear because like always it's gonna be one hell of a game.
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