Sarfraz says no pressure ahead of Pak-India clash

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Karthik, who got out for a duck in the first warm-up match against New Zealand, made full use of the opportunity in the second game as he tore apart the Bangladeshi attack in his 77-ball knock which was studded with 8 fours and a six.

“Some of the Indian bowlers are top-class and they have really done well in the last two-three years”.

Responding to a question, Khan said that the team plan of Sarfraz-led team green is to send the Indian batsmen back to the pavilion as soon as possible. The tournament favourites, team India has played well in the warm-up matches against Bangladesh and New Zea Land.

“Yes, that last match wasn’t good – but I hope that batters will understand their role and not think too much about it”.

Mehedi Hassan top-scored for the Tigers with 24, but they were skittled for just 84 with less than half their overs played – a worrying sign ahead of their Champions Trophy opener with England on Thursday.

India are placed in Group B along with Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Rising left-hand batsman Fakhar Zaman said he has no particular bowler as his target but will play every ball according to merit during the India-Pakistan game.

As always, Pakistan have an excellent selection of fast bowlers in their ranks in the form of Wahab Riaz, Mohammed Amir, Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali who could prove to be risky in English conditions.

Though the players of both camps have tried their best to keep away from the political views and counter views around the match, the undercurrents are palpable given the cautious replies coming from either camps in the build-up to the game. And in both the games, India managed to bundle out the opposition inside 40 overs. South Africa marked their ODI dominance with a 5-0 series win over Sri Lanka in January-February, which was followed by 3-2 thumping of New Zealand in February-March. “One can not play aggressively right from the start”.

Former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri had earlier said that the Champions Trophy is only an overdose of cricket for the audience and equally hard on the players.

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He hit eight boundaries and a six and, in the process, also sent feelers to the team management that he is also a candidate for a middle-order slot. “If they do well, we can definitely win the Champions Trophy”.

Bangladesh`s Mehedi Hasan Miraz returns to his crease during the ICC Champions Trophy Warm-up cricket match between India and Bangladesh at The Oval in London on 30 May 2017

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