India vs England 2020-21, 3rd ODI preview: Stage set for yet another thrilling decider
India and England have come up with the best of their performances and have taken the fight against each other in the three-match One-Day International series. The series is locked 1-1 and would all be decided in the final ODI, with England being the number one side.
After two exciting One-Day Internationals between India and England, it has all come down to the final ODI, set to be played at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Sunday. The series is locked 1-1, setting up yet another decider between the two sides.
Being the reigning world champion and the number one side, England has retained the top spot in the ICC ODI Rankings. However, it would aim to avoid a series loss, having already lost the Tests and T20Is, as we present the preview for this deciding game.
India has been in a mixed form of late in the format, coming off a series defeat in Australia, while it seems to be inconsistent in this series. As for England, it is too coming off a harsh fate, having lost to Australia at home. However, it has been reasonably better in India, even compared to the host.
Team composition and combination
India has a batting-heavy squad and has been phenomenal in the department, as is evident from the last four games, having posted more than 300 in each innings. However, its bowling has failed to click so far, as it could contemplate bringing in an extra bowler or stick with the same combination.
As for England, it is their batting as well that has been truly extraordinary, especially the top-order that has given a hard time to the Indian bowlers. While its batting is likely to remain the same, it would be a tide concerned by its bowling. Nonetheless, it is not as problematic as the host.
While India might be repenting Shreyas Iyer's loss owing to a partially dislocated shoulder, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has fit in well. While England is reeling from the loss of pacer Jofra Archer and skipper Eoin Morgan, it remains to be seen if wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings manages to return to the side, having suffered a collarbone injury.
In 102 ODIs, while India has won 54, England has managed to win 43. Meanwhile, in India, both have played on 50 occasions, with India winning 32 and England having 17 wins. There have been three between the sides in Pune, with India winning a couple and England managing one.
Weather and pitch report
The weather in Pune would once again be hot, around 39 degrees, and humidity around 16%. The track has been batting friendly throughout so far, while it has surprisingly assisted seamers more than spinners.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Prasidh Krishna and Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid and Reece Topley.
Batsmen: Dhawan, Kohli, Roy, Bairstow (c)- Dhawan and Roy have been in prolific form and are sure to give the right start. Meanwhile, Bairstow's flawless form can assist them at the top, also making him the skipper, followed by Kohli's composure in the middle.
Wicketkeepers: Pant, Rahul (vc)- Rahul has bounced back to form in style and is a must-have in the middle, making him the vice-captain. Also, Pant can come in the middle overs, besides occasionally hitting the big ones, especially at the death.
All-rounders: Stokes- The only man in the department who fits in as per the current form is Stokes. In comparison, Pandya might have been helpful. However, not being utilised as a bowler makes him miss out.
Bowlers: Krishna, Thakur, Bhuvneshwar, Curran- Among the bowlers, we have an all-round pace attack with the ones who have been impactful. The spinner's inability to make an impact in the series has made them miss out.
Date and day: March 28, 2021 (Sunday)
Venue: MCA Stadium, Pune
Time: 1.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar