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Ganguly bullish about India's prospects

Former skipper says his cuontry again has the upper hand when it comes to taking on fierce rivals Pakistan

Former captain Sourav Ganguly believes India will continue their dominance over Pakistan at global events in next month's ICC Champions Trophy in June.

While Pakistan hold a 2-1 lead over their fierce rivals and neighbours in the Champions Trophy, it is India who have won 10 from 11 in contests between the two sides at World Cup and World T20 tournaments, one of those coming after a 'bowl-out' at the 2007 WT20 event.  

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Ganguly believes that overall dominance will continue on June 4 in Birmingham, when the two sides meet for the first time since a World Cup showdown in Adelaide in February 2015.

"India will beat Pakistan again in Champions Trophy," Ganguly told India Today.

"In the last eight to 10 years there has been a massive difference in the quality between India and Pakistan and that has been one of the major reasons why India have continued to dominate Pakistan (in ICC events).

"I believe India will do it again in the Champions Trophy in Birmingham on June 4."

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Ganguly said India's national side had become a superior outfit to Pakistan's over the past decade or more, with the generation of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq and co setting a bar that has yet to be matched by those since.

"(From) 2005 onwards, the Pakistan team has not been the same as it used to be," he said. "They have lost to India on quality, they have lost to India on ability and somehow India have reacted to big-match pressure much better than Pakistan.

"The technique and quality of Indian players have been better than Pakistan's … in Pakistan there is rare brilliance but every time they have been under pressure, they have tried to fight or hit their way out of pressure, which has not worked for them.

"But every time you see India under pressure, they are a team, (they) have soaked in the pressure. They have batted and played difficult situations well and then have dominated."

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Pakistan chief selector Inzamam conceded his country had struggled against their rivals but was confident his players would perform in their crunch opening match of their Champions Trophy campaign.

"We don't have a great record against India in major events but every day is a new day and I am sure the players will perform well in the first match," he told The Express Tribune.

"The June 4 game is very important for us, not only because it is against India, but also because it will go a long way in helping us qualify for the semi-finals.

"Our team is quite balanced and has a nice blend of youthful exuberance and experience."


Champions Trophy 2017 Guide


Squads: Every Champions Trophy squad named so far

Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh.

Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.


Schedule


Warm-up matches


26 May – Australia v Sri Lanka, The Oval

27 May – Bangladesh v Pakistan, Edgbaston

28 May – India v New Zealand, The Oval

29 May – Australia v Pakistan, Edgbaston

30 May – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston

30 May – Bangladesh vs India, The Oval


Tournament


1 June – England v Bangladesh, The Oval (Day)

2 June – Australia v New Zealand, Edgbaston (D)

3 June – Sri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval (D)

4 June – India v Pakistan, Edgbaston (D)

5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, The Oval (D/N)

6 June – England v New Zealand, Cardiff (D)

7 June – Pakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston (D/N)

8 June – India v Sri Lanka, The Oval (D)

9 June – New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)

10 June – England v Australia, Edgbaston (D)

11 June – India v South Africa, The Oval (D)

12 June – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)

14 June – First semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff (D)

15 June – Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)

18 June – Final, The Oval (D)


19 June – Reserve day (D)


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