India have done it all, positively, en route to the Asian Champions Trophy final. They have come from behind to win some crucial matches, thrashed a few teams, but their biggest test will lie when they face Pakistan for the title decider in Kautan on Sunday.
It is a dream final, which will be watched by millions of hockey fans all over the world. India and Pakistan have played some good hockey, and have deserved their final berth as well. India remained unbeaten in the round robin stages, helping them clinch top spot, and they defeated Korea in a tight encounter in the semifinals.
Pakistan might not have been such consistent, but they were upto the mark when required when it mattered most in the semifinals, defeating hosts Malaysia in the last four, which has made this India vs Pakistan final possible.
Both teams, after winning their respective match, will go into the final as a confident unit. The two teams met earlier in the competition, which produced a thrilling contest. India came back strongly, after going 1-2 down during the contest, to register a good victory.
During the game, India showed their weakness in the back, which has been a concern throughout the Asian Champions Trophy. Pakistan have players in the team to exploit all their weakness, and if India defenders do not shine in the final, Roelant Oltmans' men might have finish second best. Their defence have been easily opened up by other teams in the competitions, and India are making silly errors at the back, leading to goal. It is such things, which India needs to keep a check against Pakistan.
But, there have been no problems when it comes to their offensive display. Not only have they been amazing in the penalty corners with Rupinder Pal Singh at his menacing best, but regular field goals from Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh have been joy to watch so far. They will hope to continue that impressive form in the final as well.
Pakistan will depend on their solid players like Muhameed Aleen Bilal, who will be one of their key goal-scorers. With other players like Irfan Jnr and Muhammad Rizwan Sr, they are going to be a huge threat in the competition. They are historically a strong team, and will be hell bent to come up with some great hockey to defeat favourites India.
In order to win the title, Pakistan will also need their goalkeeper Imran Butt to shoulder responsibility, and have a great game under the bar. India for sure, will play an attacking hockey and Butt will be kept busy during the final.
Though both teams might be confident of clinching the title, there is always an additional pressure when it comes to final. This title-decider is no ordinary as arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be battling it out with the hope of winning yet another Asian Champions Trophy title. Pakistan have won the competition twice, while India are searching for their second ACT title.
Where to watch Asian Champions Trophy 2016 final live
India vs Pakistan Asian Champions Trophy 2016 final is scheduled for 6 pm IST. The match will be shown live on Star Sports 4/HD, with the option of live streaming on Hotstar. Pakistan viewers can watch the game live in PTV.