India will take on England in the third and final ODI of the Paytm ODI series on Sunday, March 28th, at the MCA Stadium in Pune. The series is level at 1-1 after the visitors blazed their way to an emphatic win in the second game.
Opting to bowl first, the Jos Buttler-led England team made early inroads, with Reece Topley and Sam Curran dismissing Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, respectively.
KL Rahul, promoted to no. 4 in Shreyas Iyer's absence, and captain Virat Kohli rebuilt the innings, putting on 121 runs for the third wicket. Rishabh Pant joined Rahul at the crease post Kohli's dismissal. After taking some time to get his eye in, Pant tore into the England attack.
However, the England openers once again started off with intent, making sure the team didn't lose their way in the middle of the innings. Despite a superb run out accounting for Jason Roy, India were unable to stop the onslaught from Bairstow and Ben Stokes, who scored a whopping 87 runs between overs 31-35 to end the game as a contest.
Stokes fell for 99, and Bairstow soon followed after scoring a 112-ball 124, but it was too little too late for India. Debutant Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan steered England home without any further casualties, doing so with a whopping 39 balls to spare.
England will look to continue their momentum and win their first series on this tour. Meanwhile, India will look to plug the holes in their bowling and ensure they make a 3-0 clean sweep over the visitors across all three formats.
Nevertheless, a thrilling high-scoring series decider could ensue between India and England on Sunday.
Date: March 28, 2021 (Sunday).
Time: 01:30 PM (IST); 08:00 AM (GMT).
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.
It should be another hot day in Pune, with an average temperature of 38 degrees celsius expected.
The wicket in Pune seems to be favouring the batsmen. Nevertheless, there could be some early movement available for the seamers. There doesn't seem to be a lot of turn, though, for spinners, who could find it a bit difficult to bowl later in the day.
India aren't likely to make any changes to their batting order. They could, however, opt to bring Yuzvendra Chahal in place of Kuldeep Yadav. T Natarajan could also get a game if the hosts want to play an extra seamer.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal/ Kuldeep Yadav.
England did a pretty good job with both bat and ball in the second ODI. So they are likely to go with an unchanged XI for the series decider. However, Mark Wood could come in place of Tom Curran if the visitors fancy a more pacy option.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (C/WK), Sam Curran, Tom Curran/ Mark Wood, Reece Topley, Adil Rashid.
Despite their loss in the second ODI, India head into the third ODI as the favourites.
They're likely to come out with a successful gameplan to counter the attacking England batsmen. Given their great recent track record in series deciders, Virat Kohli's men could walk away with a win in Pune and take home the Paytm ODI trophy on Sunday.
Prediction: India to win.
TV and live streaming details
TV: Star Sports Network.
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP.