After England’s dominant six-wicket victory in Friday’s second one-day international, Sunday’s third and final encounter in Pune will be a winner-take-all affair with the series level at 1-1.
Jonny Bairstow recorded a brilliant century in that comfortable victory while Ben Stokes, batting at number three, showcased his brute power and came up just one run short of a ton himself.
India will be eager to bounce back and clinch the series, adding to their 3-2 victory in the T20 encounters, but it could be the tourists who bring the curtain down on this tour in style.
England to Leave on a High
There is no doubting the quality of both of these sides and it would be no surprise if the two countries are contesting the 50-over World Cup in India come 2023, while a battle in the T20 World Cup later this year is also being predicted.
What this tour has allowed is both India and England to feel each other out, while the respective management teams have been able to get an idea of which players will be part of the squad for those two tournaments.
Interestingly, with the rotation policy that England have adopted, it is the familiar faces that continue to shine for them and that was evident in Friday’s ODI victory.
Selection for the decider will be interesting, with Sam Billings hoping to have recovered from injury in time, while Mark Wood is expected to return after being rested for the second one-dayer.
Even without injured captain Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Jofra Archer, England still boast a wealth of talent and the form of their top three on Friday is a huge positive.
Jason Roy was going well on 55 before being run-out, while Bairstow and Stokes clattered the ball to all parts of the ground before Liam Livingstone had a composed unbeaten 27.
On all accounts, England should have won the first ODI, only for a batting collapse to scupper their chances after a strong start, but they stayed strong second time around and they have all the momentum right now.
India will certainly be no pushovers and they too have a wealth of talent at their disposal, but the way England performed in that second ODI suggests they are on the up, and backing them to win at
21/20 looks a solid shout.
Back Krishna With the White Ball
One bowler that has caused England a few problems in the first two ODI’s is Prasidh Krishna, who took 4-54 in the opening match before grabbing two scalps on Friday.
The 25-year-old paceman has been India’s top bowler in both encounters and he looks worth taking on at
15/4 to top his team’s bowling charts for the third time.
Wood to be England’s Star Bowler
As mentioned earlier, Mark Wood was rested for the second ODI and he will be raring to go should he be named in Sunday’s starting XI.
Pace has been key for the tourists, with just one of the 11 wickets taken across the first two one-day matches coming from a spinner (Adil Rashid), and Wood delivers the ball at a good lick.
The fast bowler grabbed two wickets in the opening ODI, just one shy of Ben Stokes in that game, and it may prove shrewd to back the Northumberland-born star at
10/3 to be his side’s top bowler.
*All odds correct at time of writing