The ICC Champions Trophy Final between India and Pakistan took place on 18th June 2017, nearly 728 days before the two famous rivals face each other again in the initial stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Pakistan reigned supreme in a massive 180-run victory, but here we see how both the teams have progressed in ODIs since their last meeting in an ICC Tournament:India
India have established themselves as a cricketing powerhouse since their defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final in 2017. With the top two batsmen in the world (as per ICC ODI Rankings) among the ranks of the top order batting lineup and three of the world's top 10 ODI bowlers in their team, Team India, along with hosts England, are the out and out favourites to lift the World Cup this year.
Since the 2017 final, India boasts of a winning record of 38-13 in ODIs with big series wins in their tours of South Africa and the West Indies, as well as a dominant display at the Asia Cup last year, where India defeated Pakistan convincingly on two occasions.June 9, 2019
India's batting lineup is feared by all teams. Skipper Virat Kohli, ranked 1st in the ODI Rankings and has the highest batting average in the world at 59 and since the 2015 World Cup, has maintained a whopping average of 78.
Swashbuckling opener Rohit Sharma is ranked second in the world and he boasts of a career batting average of 48, and he has averaged 69 since the last World Cup.
India's strengths are not limited to their batting as they boast of a bowling lineup featuring three of the top 10 bowlers in the world. Jasprit Bumrah, ranked no.1, is one of the best inswinging fast bowlers Indian cricket has seen recently. With middle-over wicket-takers in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, ranked 7 and 8 respectively, the Men in Blue have a well-rounded bowling attack to support their mighty batting lineup.
Key Players: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
Pakistan have a reputation. Whether they like it or not, they are known as the most unpredictable team in this World Cup. On their day, everything clicks and they are capable of superlative performances but on other days their top-order collapses and their bowling provides no support.
With a losing record of 15-21 in ODIs since the 2017 final, they might not be consistent enough to be a favourite in this tournament, but in no way can they be taken lightly.
Their biggest strength is their top-order batting lineup. Opener Fakhar Zaman is the 10th best batsman in the world according to ICC Rankings with a career batting average of nearly 49, he is one of just six players in the history of the game to have scored a double century in ODI Cricket.
Touted as Pakistan's answer to Virat Kohli, Babar Azam has been the most consistent batsman in the Pakistani batting lineup. Ranked 8th in the world he has a career batting average of 51.
However, opener Imam ul-Haq is the danger man in this Pakistani side. Having debuted in 2018, he has scored runs in 31 innings leading to a career batting average almost 58. He is an unknown entity for the Indian team, capable of causing substantial damage.
With veteran Mohammad Hafeez and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed supplementing their top-order, Pakistan have an experienced and potent batting lineup.
Uncharacteristically, however, Pakistan's bowling is somewhat of a weakness for the Men in Green. With no bowlers ranked in the top 25 of the ICC Rankings, their selection is often uncertain and performances are inconsistent. Mohammad Amir, however, did produce a career-best 5 for 30 spell against Australia in their last match and leg spinner Shadab Khan has the potential to cause all sorts of problems for Team India as he did against Virat Kohli's boys during the Champions Trophy final 2017 when he dismissed Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and the skipper himself.
Key Players: Imam ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan.June 13, 2019
With Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan missing out due to a thumb injury, KL Rahul is likely to step up to open the innings, leaving a hole to be filled in the widely debated no. 4 spot, India have their work cut-out. However, their commendable form and Pakistan's consecutively poor fielding performances as well as uncertain bowling lineup, Team India are the firm favourites in their clash on Sunday.
But complacency could prove to be fatal for the Men in Blue as they go head-to-head against an unpredictably explosive Pakistani side.
World Cup Head-to-Head: