If there is one thing that the two teams have been consistent at in the series, it has been not being consistent. Each defeat has inevitably brought up a comeback and clearly, both India and England are capable enough to turn things around in the little time they get in between the tightly-packed games. And so here we are, the Best versus Best, Round Three; and another decider.
In what was a stunning display and six-hitting mayhem – there were 34 in all, the third-most in a single game in the ODI history – at Pune, England mauled India by six wickets, and more shockingly, with over 6 overs to spare in a chase of 336, the third-highest against India in ODIs. The hosts had not scored anything even remotely under-par.
England was chasing slightly a shade under seven an over from ball one, and yet, such was the insaneness of their rampage, that they dwarfed and made a mockery of 336 against the same attack that restricted them 66 short while going for 318 only two nights ago.
One cannot term England’s ability to pull such chases off as a one-time affair. They have both the knack and the personnel to repeat it, and they do it often. And even if a few other teams in the cricketing world have what England have in them, they still need the steadfastness of England to stick to that approach. They make no mess about it and fearlessly follow the “attack from ball one” strategy.
The England skipper Eoin Morgan had no qualms while confessing that “this is the way we play and this is how we will continue playing” after a massive, comprehensive loss in the first ODI. The only probable con of that is that the team might lose too many wickets and suffer a collapse, as the visitors did and eventually lost in the series-opener, but if it clicks – and it does for England more often than not – it can make even 336 look below-par.
On the other hand is India, who prefer to go slow at the start, gradually heat things, and blast off towards the end: a template that has been since long reaping rewards to them and they manage to remain one of the top ODI sides with that same approach. Even as there is nothing particularly wrong with how India goes about their ODI business, England’s tactics let them stay well ahead of the opposition, as is evident by the margin of their victory.
Then during the previous game, none of India’s bowlers were close to what they were after Jason Roy’s dismissal in the first ODI. Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya combined to produce figures of 16-0-156-0 in contrast to Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali’s 20-0-112-1. Shardul Thakur’s magic arm did not produce the breakthroughs that it is known to create and the might of Bairstow and Stokes proved too much for them to handle.
India started the Test series with a loss at Chennai, bounced back to claim it 3-1. In the T20Is, they bounced back to finish 3-2 after being 1-2 down. England knows that. But if there is one team that can push India in a situation where they need to make a comeback despite playing at home, where they are known for their ruthless dominance, it is England. India knows that. And no wonder, these are two of the very best in the world. So the decider again, then, Best versus Best, Round three.
Pitch and Conditions
673/10 in 93.3 overs, the track proved to be a heavenly abode for batting in the previous game. That is what Pune is known to offer, and little would change in a day between the second and third game of the series. Expect nothing to change.
Playing Combination for IND vs ENG
There is nothing that Rishabh Pant cannot do successfully at this moment. He banged a 40-ball 77 straight as he walked inside the team and ensured that India got the necessary momentum towards the close of the innings. India might look towards Yuzvendra Chahal after two hard outings for Kuldeep Yadav. The remaining others pick themselves.
Predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya/Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna
On expected lines, England slotted in Dawid Malan for the injured Eoin Morgan, whereas Reece Topley, who came in for Mark Wood, justified his inclusion by scalping two wickets at an economy rate of 6.25 in a run-fest. In for Sam Billings, Liam Livingstone ensured through his cameo that England did not travel too long ahead on the road of collapse after India sneaked in three wickets, giving a mild scare to the English camp. After as clinical a show England managed, they are unlikely to make changes.
Predicted XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Reece Topley, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid
IND vs ENG Head to Head
Played – 102 | India – 54 | England – 43 | Tie/NR – 5
Played – 50 | India – 32 | England – 17 | Tie/NR – 1
IND vs ENG Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 1:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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