Mohammad Amir declared fit for Champions Trophy final

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    Pace bowler Mohammad Amir is fit and will play for Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

    A back spasm kept Amir out as Pakistan defeated hosts England on Wednesday but Arthur is now pinning his hopes on a full-strength attack to contain India’s batsmen better than most other sides have managed so far.

    “If we can get amongst them with the new ball, we can expose the middle order that hasn’t batted much in this competition, so that’s pretty much our aim and focus,” Arthur said.

    Arthur believes that the way his players recovered from a heavy defeat by India in the group stage with impressive victories over South Africa and England proves that it was merely “an aberration”.

    “That was something we hadn’t prepared for,” he said.

    “We knew how hard the guys had prepared. So what we’ve produced after that doesn’t come as any surprise because that’s how we trained, and that’s what we worked at.

    “It was very disappointing to see that go wrong in the India game. But we’ve closed the chapter on that. We’re now moving forward. And the guys have played really well.”

    With eight wins in the teams’ previous 10 World Cup and Champions Trophy meetings, India are firm favourites but Arthur has taken confidence from their defeat in the group stage by Sri Lanka.

    “Sri Lanka batted exceptionally well there. They played fielders’ cricket. They took the game on. But we’ve got to look at our strengths, and our strength has been the fact that we’ve been able to take wickets consistently through the middle periods.

    “We’ve got to play to our strengths, and our strength certainly is with the ball. I said it before the England game, if we put our ‘A’ game together and do the basics well, we can beat anybody

    © Reuters 2017