'We'll play attacking cricket'

Pakistan have been the surprise package this Champions Trophy. After crashing to a chastening defeat against India in the opener, they've shocked everyone by marching into their maiden final.

Coach Mickey Arthur said he always had faith his team could do the unthinkable. “The guys have been special. I can't praise them enough. After the defeat against India, we had some honest conversation and the guys took it on the chin and dragged themselves up from the canvas exceptionally well. For us, it’ll just be almost a clincher for us in terms of the brand of cricket we want to play, where we want to take the team,” said Arthur on Saturday.

“The India game was an aberration. That was something we hadn't prepared for. We knew how hard the guys had prepared. We knew where all the guys were technically in their games. 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 Indian game. But we prepared to close out -- we've closed the chapter on that. That was an aberration. We're now moving forward. And the guys have played really well. And they've played exactly as I thought they would play because we've trained properly and trained well.”
Arthur also heaped praise on youngsters like Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman. “I think the youngsters have been great. They've come in with no fear of failure. They've come in committed to the way we want to play our cricket. Every one of the youngsters that has come in, made an impact straight away. They've been outstanding. What it does do is it just solidifies the direction we want to move in.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said the focus on Sunday would be to play attacking cricket. “We have been playing attacking cricket after the India loss. While bowling also, we have got wickets when we attacked. As for batting, the batsmen have come into form. So we will try to play attacking cricket in every situation. The more positive cricket we play, the better results we will get. We won’t focus on the result, but focus on doing well and playing with a big heart. As a young team, we are very motivated and excited. We will play the final with the same passion that we have played the rest of the tournament.”

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