India in England: Can Kohli’s Men In Blue win the ODI series?
Leeds: With the series levelled at 1-1 after two one-sided games in the ongoing India-England ODI series, the third and final game is expected to be a cliffhanger. Team India won the first game by eight wickets with more than nine overs to go while the hosts came back strongly in the second by winning it by a good margin of 86 runs.
India has been in a very good form in the recent tour to England and Ireland where they have already won the T20I series in both England and Ireland. The T20I series was also decided in the final battle and now the question arises, can Team India repeat the same in the final ODI at Leeds?
After first ODI victory, India made couple of mistakes in the second match. First the bowlers leaked few extra runs which helped England post a challenging total and then batsmen failed to rise to the occasion.
Apart from Suresh Raina and skipper Virat Kohli no other batsman could face English bowlers perfectly. Wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan, however, got the good starts but could able to utilise it.
Middle-order batsmen Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya also drastically failed. So, in order to give English bowlers tough times in the middle, Indian batting line-up must click in unisom.
In the bowling department, Kuldeep was the only wicket-taker. He scalped three wickets but gave away 68 runs in his 10 overs. Pacers Umesh Yadav, Hardik and debutant Sidharth Kaul were also costly. Bowlers now have to come up with something new to disturb the opponents as Root, Morgan, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow has already came in form.
England, on the other hand, learned quickly from a poor display in the first match and especially against chinaman Kuldeep, who claimed 6 for 25. Joe Root and skipper Eoin Morgan also came in form with the brilliant knocks of 113 and 53 respectively.
Jason Roy and Bairstow displayed the glimpses of coming back in form with disciplined batting throughout their innings. So the top-order seemed settled the only worry of the hosts is their middle and lower order. Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali could not add much to the score after a brilliant start. If the trio clicked in the final match then it could be a difficult task for the Indian batsmen.
England has improved a lot in the bowling department. Bowlers are hunting in pairs. Pacers Liam Plunkett and David Willey combining well whileAdil Rashid, Adil Rashid and Mark Wood supporting the duo handsomely. There bowling economy is not above six which is a good sign for English players especially when the opponent team is chasing the target.
Skipper Morgan have not used Stokes much in the second ODI. So in the upcoming match, Morgan, who has the penalty of options in in bowling department, mat try all his bowlers to their potential to get the results.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (Wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Siddarth Kaul, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
England: Eoin Morgan (Captain), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (Wicket-keeper), Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Jake Ball, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Mark Wood.
(With IANS inputs)