ICC Champions Trophy betting (June 18): Great rivals battle for the crown

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Updated: June 17, 2017

It doesn’t get much bigger than India v Pakistan in the battle for one of cricket’s major trophies. It’s incredible that these two sides are actually meeting on the grand stage of the ICC Champions Trophy final after India’s convincing triumph in the group stage, essentially forcing Pakistan to go undefeated to stay alive. Out of nowhere, Pakistan has lifted itself to a date with destiny but our cricket expert Himanshu Kishnani is confident the men in blue will get the job done.

 

ICC Champions Trophy Final: India v Pakistan
Where: The Oval, London, England
When: Sunday, June 18, 7.30pm (AET)
Prices: India $1.44, Pakistan $2.75

Confirmed betting: India WIN

TIW says: India vs Pakistan! It’s a fitting finale for a tournament that has delivered surprise after surprise. And bizarrely, after several rain interruptions over the past two weeks the sun has been out throughout the week in London and it’s forecast to be 30 degrees for the final. It automatically means that teams from subcontinent will feel at home, and hopefully produce some of their best cricket. The defending champions India were expected to reach the finals, but Pakistan have stunned the cricket world to join in the finale of this ICC Champions Trophy. Their shock wins over South Africa and England made a mockery of their ranking as the worst of the eight sides contesting this tournament. With such scalps to their name, the Pakistanis will not fear India is this situation.

 

The Indian side is more rounded than Pakistan thanks to the opportunities afforded through the IPL along with other internationals and domestic competitions. But in a single contest such as this final, anything’s possible. Azhar Ali has scored the most runs for Pakistan this ICC Champions Trophy with two 50s to his name (one coming against India in the opening game of the tournament). Fakhar Zaman has also been very impressive having scored two 50s in the first three ODIs of his career. Hasan Ali has led the bowling attack over the past fortnight with 10 wickets. The fast bowler has taken three wickets in each of his previous three matches and will be the biggest threat to the Indian batsmen. Pakistan have now won five of their past six ODIs.

India’s nine-wicket thrashing of Bangladesh in the semi-final was their fifth win in the seven one-day internationals they have played this year. The team’s batting has looked formidable right from the start of the tournament and their bowlers have done well in restricting sides to modest totals on good batting surfaces. The Indian side is expected to remain unchanged for this match. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma appear to be in a race to finish as the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 317 and 304 runs respectively. Dhawan has batted brilliantly in all four games so far and will be the key to India’s batting. Captain Virat Kohli is also among the runs and the team will want him to continue his good form. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been the standout performers with the ball for India.

 

Kumar has taken the most wickets for the side. There are no injury concerns in the Indian team ahead of this blockbuster final and the selectors might not be too keen on changing a winning combination. India and Pakistan have never been head-to-head in the 50-overs format at The Oval. Overall, the two teams have played 124 ODIs against each other in the past of which 72 have been won by Pakistan. However, India have beaten Pakistan in four of their past five encounters. The toss will play a crucial role in this high-pressure game. Without any doubt, the team that wins the toss will bowl first. Weather could also play a big role in this match and of the ball is swinging, the Pakistan bowlers could take advantage.

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games will follow in the next post.

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