MS Dhoni’s picture with Sarfaraz Ahmed’s son wins hearts in India and Pakistan

Amid the frenzy around the Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan, a photo of MS Dhoni has brought smile on the faces of millions of cricket lovers.

The photo, which has gone viral on social media, shows Dhoni carrying the son of Pakistani skipper Safaraz Ahmed in his arms hour before the big game at the Oval, London.

Dhoni’s picture has won hearts on both sides of the border.

This is not the first time that such gestures have calmed the tensions between the two cricket-crazy nations. In April, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi tweeted thanks to Team India skipper Virat Kohli for gifting him his t-shirt.

Sunday’s match is going to witness 25,000 screaming hordes rooting either for India or Pakistan, turning Oval, an ocean of calm, into chaos.

Indian captain Kohli does not want his side to be ‘over excited’ before the summit showdown while his counterpart Sarfraz admitted that his team is ‘excited and motivated to perform well’.

Kohli, who has nearly 16 million followers on Twitter, considers the micro-blogging site as a distraction before a big match. Sarfraz, meanwhile, is “indebted to millions on social media” for supporting the team throughout.

India, the defending champions, had got the better of the rivals in the league stage of the ongoing tournament. And Kohli has already declared that nothing extra is needed to get the same result despite the turnaround by Sarfraz Ahmed’s men since then.

It is nonetheless a battle of attrition, where one needs to hold the nerve till the very end.

The last ball six hit by Javed Miandad off Chetan Sharma haunted a generation of Indian fans till Sachin Tendulkar returned the favour during that epic knock at the Centurion.

In between, Ajay Jadeja, Venkatesh Prasad, Hrishikesh Kanitkar or Joginder Sharma have all played their bit roles in winning big matches thereby overcoming the Sharjah Syndrome that affected the Indian teams of mid 80s and early 90s.

Whether it’s New Delhi or Islamabad, Karachi or Kolkata, this is one match that fans would hate to see their team lose.
For the 22 players in question, it’s just a game of cricket. But for millions following them, it’s way beyond that and is fuelled more by comments from former stars like Virender Sehwag or Rashid Latif.

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