The last ODI will be played at Leeds and the team winning the toss will not know what’s the best decision to make.
England at home is a team to beat in limited-overs cricket. They’ve been unbeaten at home in the last six ODI series, however, if one team has actually made them look beatable it is India. Virat Kohli’s team without both their lead pacers has still done well to be 1-1 in the series. The last ODI at Leeds will now determine which team takes the trophy.
The Indian team was top notch in the first match, they didn’t let England off the hook for once. They were decent with the ball in the second ODI but allowed David Willey and Joe Root to score 82 in the last 8 overs. That took the total to 322 which proved too much for India to scale. Their batting failed miserably, all the batsmen got starts but unlike the first ODI none of them converted it and thus lost the match by 86 runs.
The Leeds wicket is good for batting, though there can be a bit of a movement for the bowlers early on which brings the pacers into play. But given the quality in the Indian pace bowling attack, it can backfire as well.
From the last six matches played at this venue, four have yielded a result and the team batting first and the chasing team won twice each. The average score would be somewhere around 300 as three out of four times the team batting first posted around and over that mark and only once the innings ended around 250.
There’s literally no change England should be making in the playing XI. Two players who could’ve been a bit of a concern for the selectors – Joe Root and Mark Wood, both had a wonderful last game and made the right kind of impact. Wood bowled only 5 overs but got the important wicket of Rohit Sharma as the first breakthrough and pretty much initiated the downfall.
Root was under pressure, his limited-overs career seemed to be on the line, however, he put up a display of his class on a tough batting wicket. Where no Indian batsman could even manage a half century the England No.3 scored a hundred, the 12th of his ODI career. Eoin Morgan wouldn’t want to tinker with the winning combination and that is the right approach as well.
Predicted XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett
Ahead of the final ODI both Virat Kohli and the Indian fans would await a report on Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness. He had a stiff back, the issue which troubled him during the Indian Premier League as well. It is more of a precautionary break for Bhuvi as per the team management. However, with the way Siddarth Kaul has shaped up in the ODIs, they would want to have the lead bowler back for the series decider.
One aspect where Team India did really well with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar bowling upfront was getting wickets with the new ball. In this series, they didn’t get a wicket in the first ten overs and haven’t been able to cut the flow in the death either. A lot relies on Kuldeep Yadav with the ball who would feel the pressure and can underperform.
As far as the batting is concerned with little depth the top order has to fire. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul all three have to get them substantial runs along with Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina. One of them has to bat through and then the likes of MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya can give them a push towards the end.
Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/ Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Probable top performers
Shikhar Dhwan (INDIA) , Jonny Bairstow(ENGLAND)
The prediction is for Team India to win the match and take the series 2-1
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