ENG vs IND 3rd ODI preview: Old Trafford awaits crackerjack finale to tour

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ENG vs IND 3rd ODI preview: Old Trafford awaits crackerjack finale to tour

India’s tour of began with a Test loss for the visitors at Edgbaston. The teams then travelled to Southampton and Edgbaston, where India won back-to-back T20Is to win the three-match series. got one back at Trent Bridge, but that did not settle things. In the ODI series again, India started on a high note with a 10-wicket win at the Oval, but at Lord’s, it lost the second ODI by 100 runs to square things up.

The ODI series is in the balance at 1-1, and so is the tour at 3-3, with three matches being won by each team across formats. Therefore, the third ODI at Old Trafford will be not only the ODI series‘s finale but also the entire tour. And in a way, a victory in this game would be like winning the entire tour.

What’s at stake?

There are a lot of things at stake. Old Trafford is the home ground of the newly appointed English captain Jos Buttler; hence, he would want his first series win to come here. is also considered very strong at Old Trafford, and thus beating India here to win the series and avenge the T20I series loss would be a perfect finish.

Who will be the two key players for both teams?

Yuzvendra Chahal

has been in phenomenal form of late. He was the player of the series against Ireland and did well in the T20Is against England too. In the first game, Chahal did not get to bowl much since Bumrah was all over the English batting line-up. But the way he trapped the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes, making them play false shots at will, makes Chahal a very dangerous customer at the spin-friendly Old Trafford wicket.

David Willey

has been a revelation with the bat in this ODI series. In both the games, he has tried to be a better version of himself as a batter. His score of 41 and his partnership with Moeen Ali and then Craig Overton got England to a total they could eventually defend with ease.

In the second game, he was brilliant with the ball, too, as he kept troubling Kohli with the fourth stump line and eventually got his wicket. Thus, in the third game, he would be expected to be a great all-rounder and try to win the series for his team.

Reece Topley vs Rohit Sharma: Battle to watch out for

Reece Topley looks in his prime touch. In the last T20I that England won, Topley, with this three-wicket haul, bailed them out. In that match, he was able to get rid of . Even in the second ODI, in which the left-hander achieved the best figures for any English bowler in ODI cricket (6-24), he trapped Rohit in front of the wicket with the moving ball.

Sharma’s tendency to not move his feet early on and Topley’s ability to make the ball come back into the right-handers makes the Indian captain a prime candidate for dismissal against the English bowler. It would be interesting to see what technique he develops for the third and final ODI to tackle Topley.

Possible playing elevens of both the teams

Both teams have won one game each. India only changed Kohli from the first game to the second because Kohli was not available for the first one due to injury issues. England did not make any changes to their team. Any significant changes in the playing eleven of the two teams seem difficult, even for the final, until and unless an injury occurs.

How will the pitch play?

Since the ODI World Cup 2019, three ODIs have been played at Old Trafford in Manchester. All three games were played between the hosts and Australia. Two of the games that England lost were high-scoring ones, while it could defend a total as low as 231 in the game that it won. Thus, identifying the character of the wicket is a tough ask, but whatever it may be like, it promises to have close, exciting finishes.

Who holds the edge?

After the first two games, it is very difficult to predict a winner. But given that it is Buttler’s home ground and a strong fortress of England, the hosts would have a slight advantage over the Indian team.

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