England vs India, 3rd ODI Preview: Toss crucial as white-ball giants go into decider
Arshdeep Singh can come in for Prasidh Krishna who has somewhat been the weak link in the Indian bowling attack.
India called well at the toss in the first ODI and reaped the benefits in the form of a comprehensive 10 wicket victory over England. However, the Indian captain made an error in judgement at Lord's in the second ODI and decided to bat first again, due to the lavish swing on offer in white ball cricket in England this summer.
Unfortunately for India, he did not pay much heed to the record at Lord's in recent times which heavily favours the team batting first as chasing targets of even around 250 can be quite difficult, as was on display in the series between England and Pakistan last summer.
Ali, Willey provide England balance
That though does not take any credit away from the Indian bowlers who did a fine job despite England being given a good start by openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.
The two started circumspectly and weathered the storm. Once they got going there were ominous signs for India who witnessed it first hand in the 2019 ODI World Cup encounter between the two sides.
However, the Indian bowling came back strongly and had it not been for the crucial partnership between Moeen Ali and David Willey towards the end, England would have perhaps been restricted for less than 200. Both all rounders contributed 40s and took England to a respectable total.
Consistent and clever Chahal
At Lord's, where the ball doesn't generally spin too much, Yuzvendra Chahal was brilliant and picked up the crucial wickets of Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali all of whom could have taken the game away from India
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were on the money like in the series opener but were not rewarded similarly. Hardik Pandya played a key role in taking the two important wickets of Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone after both the batsmen were set.
England bowlers fight back
Truth be told, the England bowling even surpassed the Indian effort given their patience and persistence with line and length. The kind of start that India got, getting reduced to 31 for 4 within the first 12 overs, it was evident that the chase would be much steeper than what it initially seemed.
After Rohit Sharma departed early, Virat Kohli was looking good and played three sumptuous drives but he flattered to deceive once again, getting dismissed by David Willey due to a chronic weakness on the 6th-7th stump line outside the off stump on a slightly short of good length delivery.
Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya looked good for their 20 odd runs each but once both departed, it was always going towards England. Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami gave India a semblance of hope with 29 and 23 respectively but once they were dismissed in quick succession, the match was a done deal.
Reece Topley, who has been in brilliant form of late continued the good work, picking up his career best ODI figures of 6 for 24. He bowled two maiden overs and gave away runs at just 2.40 from his 9.5 overs which did not allow any partnership to prosper. All other England bowlers with exception of Moeen Ali were also quite miserly.
As a result, the visitors were bundled out for 146 with more than 10 overs remaining and lost the match by 100 runs.
Will India pick Arshdeep?
The series is now level at 1-1 with the exciting decider coming up on Sunday at the Old Trafford.
India would have been keen to try out their bench strength had they won the second ODI. However, with the series still up for grabs, both teams are unlikely to make any changes.
If at all, Arshdeep Singh can come in for Prasidh Krishna who has somewhat been the weak link in the Indian bowling attack.
Predicted Playing XIs
England - Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Craig Overton, David Willey, Brydon Carse, Reece Topley
India - Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna/Arshdeep Singh
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