Legion of fans hope for mouth-watering India vs Pakistan finale on Sunday
India and Pakistan fans cheer their teams during a match at Edgbaston last week. Pic/Getty Images
Everybody knows cricket is a game of uncertainties and nobody can predict the outcome. Though it is a long shot, supporters of both Indian and Pakistani cricket teams are hopeful that the South Asian neighbours will clash in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday. Of course, the two sides have to cross stiff semi-final hurdles before even thinking of that dream contest.
Before India come up against Bangladesh in the last-four clash at Birmingham on Thursday, Pakistan's fate would already have been decided as they face England a day earlier - on Wednesday at Cardiff. If Pakistan somehow are able to put it across the hosts, the whole Asian sub-continent and of course, the legion of fans the world over, would be agog with excitement as they can expect India to get the better of the unpredictable Bangladesh.
India have the upper hand
Though they have clashed 15 times in the ICC-organised events - there has been just one occasion when India and Pakistan have clashed in the final - in the first-ever World T20 championship in Johannesburg in 2007, when India won the cliff-hanger by five runs, with Misbah-ul-Haq playing the now-infamous scoop only to be caught by Sreesanth, much to the delight of the Indian fans.
Overall, India have won six out of six matches against Pakistan in the World Cup, five out of five in the World T20 (including a bowl-out after a tie) and two out of four in the Champions Trophy - an overwhelming 13 out of 15 games so far. With such an overwhelming record, the Indian fans would rather have India take on Pakistan than England in the title-clash.
The cocky Indian supporters have already started posting comments like: "If Pakistan somehow reaches the final against India, remember June 18 is a Father's Day." Whether Pakistan make it or not, the Indian supporters are already preparing for the June 18 final, being confident that their team is strong enough to overcome Bangladesh.
Stronger English team
But they are aware that England are the masters in home conditions and it would take an extraordinary effort by the Indians to outwit the hosts at the Oval on Sunday.
The English team under skipper Eoin Morgan is very different from the one that India defeated in the final of the last Champions Trophy at Edgbaston in 2013.
MS Dhoni was the India captain then, and is now one among the boys under Virat Kohli. On the other hand, Morgan was just one of the players and has now risen to be the captain.
As both the captains follow the mantra of fearless, aggressive cricket, most of the pundits had predicted Anglo-Indian final, which may come true, much to the consternation of the Pakistan and Bangladeshi fans.
Video: Team India abused on Champions Trophy 2017 Wikipedia page
Download the new mid-day android app to get updates on all the latest and trending stories on the go https://goo.gl/8Xlcvr
Mumbai Roundup: 9 incidents that took place this week
Photos: Ajay Devgn, Parineeti, Tabu at 'Golmaal Again' trailer launch
Photos: Dipika Pallikal Karthik oozes oomph in bikinis and sarees
Photos: Kareena Kapoor Khan's grand birthday bash
Photos: 'Dangal' girls Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh's dinner outing