Pakistan’s turnaround in the Champions Trophy has been “magnificent”, said India captain Virat Kohli after his side set up Sunday’s final against their fierce rivals.
India eased to a nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in Thursday’s semi-final.
Pakistan were comfortably beaten by defending champions India in their opening game but shocked hosts England in the first semi-final on Wednesday.
“They’ve turned around things for themselves really well,” said Kohli.
After that opening defeat by India, Pakistan also beat number one-ranked side South Africa and Sri Lanka in the group stages before their eight-wicket victory over England to reach Sunday’s final at The Oval.
“They’ve beaten sides that looked really strong against them, but the belief just showed on the field the way they played together as a team,” said Kohli.
Matches between India and Pakistan are the most-watched in cricket and generate some of the highest audiences in world sport, but the two sides have never previously faced each other in a a global 50-over final.
“Regardless of who you play in the final, it’s always going to be challenging because once you start thinking that it’s a big game, then your mindset changes,” added Kohli.
“What we are going to try to do is repeat the similar sort of cricket that we have played so far, knowing the strengths and weaknesses they have.”