LONDON: Pakistanâs first global 50-over title since the 1992 World Cup reflected well on their Australian coach Mickey Arthur, who kept his squad from losing focus after their dismal display against the Indians earlier in the tournament.
Gaining sweet revenge over India, Pakistan thrashed their archrivals by 180 runs at The Oval to win the Champions Trophy for the first time.
But, Arthur admitted Pakistan were desperate to prove they could go toe to toe with tournament favourites India with the title up for grabs.
“Itâs been an up and down ride for us but Iâm so proud of the boys,” Arthur said.
“The whole group kept believing, we knew we were better than what we showed in the first game against India.
“That was an aberration. We want to be more consistent as a team.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed added: “After the India match in the group stage, I told the players the tournament hadnât finished yet. Credit goes to my boys.
“Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman. Amir bowled brilliantly but all my bowlers bowled really well.”
India captain Kohli conceded Pakistan were worthy winners and, while he claimed to be proud of his players, his admission that the new champions played with more passion was a damning indictment.
“I want to congratulate Pakistan first, they had an amazing tournament. The way they turned things around speaks volumes for the talent they have in their side,” Kohli said.
“They were more intense and passionate today, they deserved to win.
“Iâm disappointed but I have a smile on my face because Iâm proud of how my team has performed in the tournament overall.”