'Great chance to restore our pride' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 18, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 18, 2017

'Great chance to restore our pride'

Former World Cup winning captain, Imran Khan said Pakistan have a golden opportunity in the Champions Trophy final to avenge their humiliating defeat to India in their first match of the tournament.

"I think we have got a great chance to restore our pride in the final because of the way we lost the first match to India," he said on "Samaa" television channel. "It was humiliating how badly we lost that match and we can turn things around now," he added.

Imran, regarded as Pakistan's best captain after he led them to the 1992 World Cup title, said Pakistan needed to learn from the mistakes they made against India in that match.

Imran also advised Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed to avoid putting India in to bat first if he won the toss in the final.

"India have a very good batting line-up and if they put up a big total it will bring pressure on us. The strategy of fielding first against other teams has worked well for Sarfraz against other teams as the spinners throttled the opposition in the middle overs and Hassan Ali bowled really impressively," he said.

"Our real strength is our bowling and we must bat first if we win the toss. Our batting is not that good; our bowling is better," he added.

Imran also praised the Sarfraz's captaincy.

"I am really impressed to see that Sarfraz has turned out to be such a bold captain," Imran said.

Imran's teammate and close ally, Javed Miandad also chimed in and said the final could prove to be the gateway for restoration of bilateral cricket series with India.

"I think we should put aside political issues and try to play more cricket. I want to see revival of bilateral cricket," the former captain said.

Miandad was not willing to pick a favorite for the final on Sunday.

"If I speak fairly, then yes India at this time have a better team and more depth but I always believe that in a big match it is the moment that matters," he said.

"What is important is how many players you have in your team who are willing to put up their hands and perform on that day. I think Pakistan have some players who could be match winners."

Miandad said that each team had a 50 per cent chance of winning the final.

Former captain, Aamir Sohail conceded that India, with their strong batting and strog bowling, were  a better side pound for pound, but added that complacency could be their downfall.

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