The series decider heads to Headingley with plenty to play for ahead of a highly anticipated test series between these two sides. This match becomes even more unpredictable given both England and India has comprehensively beaten each other in the first two matches, although there’s every chance this one could come down to the wire.
Despite a shaky start to the series at No. 3, England’s Joe Root showed his class with a magnificent century at Lord’s bouncing back in tremendous fashion. With Ben Stokes back in this English outfit where he’s slotted back into the middle order resulting in Root’s elevation back up the order, they look a formidable line-up. Sure Alex Hales was a bit stiff to get pushed aside after a decent series against Australia, but at the same time it was affecting Root’s overall output and was often pushed down the order. Prolific opening-duo Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow haven’t contributed anywhere near as much runs compared to recent tournaments, but they’ve still managed to kick start the innings with 30+ scores consistently in this series. Both batsmen still look in ominous touch and have the potential to take down India’s attack in the decider, whether they do it or not is a whole other story. Despite their vast batting-improvement at Lord’s, England still found Kuldeep Yadav difficult to handle as the wristspinner claimed three more victims in their top order. Roy and Bairstow in particular haven’t been able to counterattack against the 23-year-old, Kuldeep is 4/4 with the English openers so far. The home team haven’t dominated in the spin department against India though, Kuldeep has more wickets than both Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid combined which is a damning statistic given how they unravelled the Aussies. Logic would tell you that India play spin better than Australia with the bat, and that’s probably a fair assessment. The last ODI at this venue saw England score 339/6 against the Proteas with skipper Eoin Morgan top scoring with 107, could history repeat itself? Seamer Liam Plunkett was dominant last time out with the ball claiming 4/46 at Lord’s, this Headingley wicket offers a bit with the ball as well bringing the big man into play yet again.
India could potentially make some changes to their XI ahead of the series decider tomorrow afternoon, both KL Rahul and Siddarth Kaul could potentially make way for Dinesh Karthik who is coming off a brilliant IPL campaign and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who hasn’t featured in the first two ODI’s due to injury. Unlike the first ODI at Trent Bridge, the visitors were completely outplayed at Lord’s as Joe Root set up victory with his 12th ODI century for England as the Indians struggled to gain any momentum in the run chase. Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni has been heavily criticized about the way he went about his innings in that chase, a knock of 37 off 59 balls certainly didn’t win over any Indian fans that day. Dhoni wasn’t alone – Raul, Rohit and Pandya were dismissed relatively cheaply which left the team in a spot of bother for the remainder of the innings. India will no doubt be eager to bounce back with a series winning effort in Headingley, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma the usual suspects expected to fire on what should be a good batting deck. Already mentioned above, captain Kohli has already started this tour on a high note averaging 57.50 in three T20I’s and two ODI’s against England. Shikhar Dhawan looms as the dark horse in this final ODI, he’s more than capable of reaching three figures with the willow but hasn’t quite been able to build an innings yet. There’s no doubt in my mind that Kuldeep Yadav will be named player of the series, he’s been all over England’s batsmen like a rash. Spinners aren’t renowned for dominating in the UK when it comes to white ball cricket, but Kuldeep has put that theory to bed claiming a miraculous 9 wickets in two ODI’s not to mention a five-wicket haul in Manchester during the T20 series. Can he finish off his good work, or will England chance their luck and look to end the 23-year-old’s impressive ODI stint? All will be revealed tomorrow in the series decider!
Top 5 fantasy picks | England | 3rd ODI | Headingley, Leeds
- Jonny Bairstow
- Eoin Morgan
- Adil Rashid
- Liam Plunkett
- Jos Buttler
Wildcard pick – David Willey
Top 5 fantasy picks | India | 3rd ODI | Headingley, Leeds
- Virat Kohli
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Rohit Sharma
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Hardik Pandya
Wildcard pick – Shikhar Dhawan
England (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan © 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Moeen Ali 8. David Willey 9. Adil Rashid 10. Liam Plunkett 11. Mark Wood/Jake Ball.
India (possible) – 1. Rohit Sharma 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Virat Kohli © 4. KL Rahul/Dinesh Karthik 5. Suresh Raina 6. MS Dhoni (wk) 7. Hardik Pandya 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9. Kuldeep Yadav 10. Yuzvendra Chahal 11. Umesh Yadav.