Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) India’s Test wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha put India as firm favourites to retain the ICC Champions Trophy crown as they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the final in London on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a CAB first division league match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, Saha said: “India are overall favourites in every department. India have dominated proceedings except one match. India are favourites. I feel if you ask anyone, he or she will put India in the hot seat.”
India lost once in the tournament against Sri Lanka but have proved that was an aberration by scripting commanding victories over South Africa in a do-or-die game and then Bangladesh in the semi-final.
“The team who will perform well will win,” Saha said.
“Pakistan have bowled really well since the first game against India,” Saha said, adding he has not got the time to watch a single game.
“I have not watched a single match, know the results. It’s easy to decipher that India are better than Pakistan. That’s why I will always put India in front,” the 32-year-old stumper said.
Pakistan lost by 124 runs to India but bounced back after their lucky win via the Duckworth-Lewis method over South Africa. They won against Sri Lanka miraculously in a must-win affair and bettered their show against England in the semi.
The Sarfraz Ahmed-led side has depended on their bowlers to deliver the goods and despite the absence of prime bowlers Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir in the latter half, have not suffered.
The likes of Hasan Ali, the tournament’s highest wicket-taker so far with 10 scalps to his name in four matches, Junaid Khan, who has picked seven wickets in just three games and Rumman Raees, who on debut grabbed two wickets in the semis against England, have stepped up making the team a strong force to reckon with.
Saha added that the men in blue have bowled well against every opposition and every game was vital, when asked whether it will be a competition between Pakistan bowlers and Indian batsmen.
“Every match in this tournament was vital. India have bowled well in every match and got teams all out too,” he said.