The third ODI of the ongoing series between India and England is scheduled to be held on the 28th of March, 2021 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune from 13:30 pm IST. This is the third series of the England tour of India, which comprises four tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs. The tour had begun for England on a good note, as it had won the first test by a massive margin. However, India was quick to stage a turnaround and won the next three matches to defeat the visitors 3-1. England was thus quite committed to redeem its reputation in the T20I series.
However, the visitors lost the series narrowly with India winning it 3-2. This ODI series thus has followed by the fans of cricket. India has won the first match of the series and England has won the second match. This has made the last match extremely exciting as both the teams would be aiming to prove their prowess in one day cricket in this and win this match to clinch the series. Let us have a look at what this match has to offer.
The series so far
India and England are well-known for their rivalry in world cricket. Their matches always promise good cricket to the fans. England is the reigning world champions of ODI cricket and thus the victory in the very first match of the series must have really boosted the morale of the host team. India batted first in the match, and put a competitive total of 316 runs on the board. The Indian batting order performed really well in the match. Opener Shikhar Dhawan top scored the innings with a fluent 98.
Three other players – skipper Virat Kohli (56), KL Rahul (62 not out), and Krunal Pandya (58 not out) scored half-centuries to propel the team to that total. Pandya’s innings was particularly special because it was his debut match. The Indian bowlers put up a good performance to restrict England 251 in 42.1 overs. Opener Jonny Bairstow top-scored the innings with a brilliant 94 off 66 balls, and Jason Roy scored 46 off 35 balls but none of the other batsmen could really make an impact. Prasidh Krishna picked up four wickets, Shardul Thakur got three and Bhuvneshwar Kumar got two wickets each.
The second ODI was won by England. Batting first, India put up a massive target of 337 runs. However, the visitors seemed to make a mockery of the target and reached it in only 43.3 overs. The England chase rested on the shoulders of three players – Jason Roy (55 off 52), Bairstow (124 off 112) and Ben Stokes (99 off 62). Bairstow and Stokes both unleashed a spree of sixes against the Indian bowlers, who were left clueless on how to tackle the onslaught. Earlier, India was propelled to this massive total by the fantastic innings of two players – KL Rahul (108 off 114) and Rishabh Pant (77 off 40). The competition between the two teams in these matches certainly makes fans hopeful for even more intense competition.
Players to watch out for
India has quite a number of players who seem to be in good form. Among them, the most significant is KL Rahul, who is gradually coming back to form after going through a rough patch in the past few series. Rishabh Pant also seems to be in good form, along with the likes of Kohli and Pandya. Eyes have also been on bowlers Kumar, Thakur and Krishna for their performances. England has extremely good players in Bairstow and Roy, its two openers. They have been performing extremely well in every match. Also, Ben Stokes seems to be in good form as well. Ali and Rashid also seem to be playing well as spin bowlers.
The pitch at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium is known to favour batsmen in general. The pitch is generally flat and the outfield is quite fast, which makes it a challenge for the bowlers. Therefore, one can expect a high-scoring match where the batsmen will have the upper hand over the bowlers.
India and England have both been dominant players in ODI cricket for a long time. Both have been the best teams in this version of the game at different points of time. To add to that is their well-known rivalry and the in-form players. Overall, the last ODI promises a good, entertaining game of cricket to the fans of the game