Champions Trophy 2017 | Rahul Dravid advises Virat Kohli to play the same team in the final

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Champions Trophy 2017 | Rahul Dravid advises Virat Kohli to play the same team in the final

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SportsCafe Desk


Former Indian batsman Rahul Dravid has advised Virat Kohli to stick with things that have worked in the tournament so far. Meanwhile, Dravid suggested that the experienced Pakistani duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik need to step up their game to give their team a fighting chance.

India confirmed their clash with Pakistan in the final on Sunday after thrashing Bangladesh in the second semi-final yesterday. The arch-rivals will go against each other in the final of an ICC event first time since the two met in the ICC 2007 World T20 tournament.

“I think Virat has to stick to what’s worked well for him. India loves chasing, we saw that today. They have got some really experienced players who have played in big pressure games, they know how to handle these kind of situations and I think this is a tactic that works for them,” Dravid who is an ‘ESPNcricinfo Match Day analyst suggested today.

The opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have done wonders for India at the start with three 50-run stands in the four matches that the men in blue have played with a stand of 136 against Pakistan, 138 against Sri Lanka and 87 against Bangladesh. Dravid noted the pair's contribution and expressed confidence in their performance.

“People might question why are you only getting 4.8 run average in the first 10 but you know that’s how they like to set up their innings with Rohit and Shikhar, knowing fully well that they have got the power at the back end of the likes of you know, Hardik Pandya, Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Jadeja.

“So you know they have got some big power that can make up a lot of runs in the end as well, as long as they can keep wickets in hand, they play spin well through the middle as well. So look, I won’t change anything, India’s batting has been exceptional,” he added

India won their matches against South Africa and Bangladesh with convincing margins while chasing and Dravid noted that the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya could have their task cut out if India bat first in the final.

“It will be case of pushing one of up through the middle, Jadhav is a very good player against spin we know that he does take it on. And if you are in that position, I guess you could do that, push Pandya or Jadhav ahead of even Yuvraj and Dhoni and have a crack.” Dravid said.

On the other hand, Dravid suggested that the contribution of veteran cricketers, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik will play a pivotal role in the match for Pakistan.

“It’s a fantastic final. I guess Pakistan have something to prove, that they can put up a better performance than they did at the start of the tournament,” Dravid said.

“They are going to need people like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, their two most experienced players to really step up if they want to win this game,” he added.

Pakistan have been exceptional in their bowling in every game in the tournament except for their opening encounter against India. Hasan Ali has speaheaded Pakistan's bowling attack with three consecutive three wicket hauls coming against South Africa, Sri Lanka and England. Dravid praised the improved Pakistan bowling and particularly complemented Hasan Ali for his line and length in the tournament.

“You know they’ve probably learned from the last time they played India, in that they didn’t take wickets and India hurt them really badly in the last seven or eight overs, so they can’t afford to let that happen again.

“One of the nice things about Hasan Ali is the length that he bowls.He pitches the ball up, he gets people to drive and I think that’s one of the reasons, in these kind of conditions, he takes wickets.” he concluded. 

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